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RHODES, Lois M. (nee Atkinson)

September 30, 1937 – Hamilton, Ontario
December 11, 2013 – Calgary, Alberta

Lois Marlene Rhodes (nee Atkinson) of Calgary, AB, passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at the age of 76 years.

Born on September 30, 1937 in Hamilton, ON, Lois won the Canadian National Championship in roller skating at age 11 and was a talented figure skater in her youth. Lois was educated at Loretto Academy, McMaster University and Hamilton Teachers College. She taught for the Hamilton school board, ending her career at Westdale High School, teaching special education with young adults. Besides being actively involved in the running community, Lois also coached track & field at Westdale. She married Peter Rhodes in 1969 and they were married for twenty-one years. Lois lived in Hamilton and Ancaster until 2002, when she moved to Calgary to be close to her grandchildren, who she loved to spend time with. She enjoyed travelling and was an award winning gardener. Lois was a very creative person who loved to read. She will be remembered as a thoughtful and loving friend.

Lois is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Suzanne and Scott Leggat of Burlington, ON, and Heidi and James Burton of Calgary; and four grandchildren, Kyra, Emmitt, Halia, and Smith.

A Celebration of Lois’ Life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Lois Rhodes, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

Offer Condolence for the family of RHODES, Lois M. (nee Atkinson)

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Condolence Messages

  1. The Celeste Family :

    We’re sorry to hear of your mothers passing. We have many fond memories of when you lived next door on Cottingham. She is the only neighbour who moved away that we still remember fondly.
    Our best to your families during these difficult times.
    Len, Diane, Kelli and Lindsay.

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  2. Wayne and Linda Haslip :

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother, Lois Rhodes.
    Her Mother, Violet Atkinson and my Mother, Doris Haslip(nee Jones)
    were the closest of childhood friends and we have known Lois as
    part of the family. Please let us know of any service being held in the
    Hamilton area.
    We are in Burlington.

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  3. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Mrs. Rhodes. I was in her peer helper program. She was a great teacher / counsler. She was always available for good advice or just an ear to listen. She touched many peoples lives and will be remembered. Again sorry for your loss she will be fondly remembered.
    Chris Legare

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  4. I am so sad to learn of Lois’s passing. Lois and I became very close soon after she moved to Calgary and we spent many fun hours enjoying the theatre, movies and dinner. She loved her family and grandkiddies, her friends and neighbors. I know the “hood” will miss her greatly. She collected frog themed memorabilia and had 66 of the little guys hidden throughout her beautiful garden in Calgary. Her home and garden was her sanctuary and she has left her neighborhood a much better place from her presence. I will miss her every day and am blessed to have known her.
    Please accept my condolences, Heidi.

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  5. Loretta Lueloff-Paralusz :

    What a shock to see Lois’s obit in today’s paper. She was friendly, approachable and easy to work with at Westdale SS. I remember her fondly. I am so sorry for your loss. I remember so much about her that I hope it’s announced in The Spec when her memorial will be. Such a loss. I have often wondered about her when I drive by her Condo Development in Beamsville. Sincerely A former Colleague. Loretta Lueloff-Paralusz

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  6. Lois was a dear friend and a wonderful person who was taken from us too soon. As I said to my sister-in-law, we would all do better to be more like Lois. May your family find peace in this difficult time.

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  7. Lois was one of the most positive people I have ever met. Her smile was like a bright light and her laughter was contagious. I will always remember her beautiful face with a smile, and I will cherish the conversations and moments I shared with her. Prayers and love to her family.

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  8. Suzi Kyle-Hartwick :

    Dear Suzanne, Heidi and Family,
    My heart goes out to you at this time. All day I’ve thought of your mom
    and I have some wonderful happy memories of her.
    Take care and know that you are in my thoughts…
    Lots of Love Suzi XOX

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  9. I met Lois in my first year teaching, in the late 60s, at Wentworth St. School, Hamilton. She reached out to me and helped this brand new teacher to find her way. We became friends and at one time took a road trip to Florida, with her daughter Suzanne, my sister, Dorothy and Lois’ mother Violet. Lois introduced me to Pearse, who later became my husband (now deceased) I was Lois’ maid of honour, when she married Peter, in England. She was my matron of honour when I married Pearse. Lois and Peter welcomed Heidi just a short time before Pearse and I had our first child, Christopher. Life became busy and complicated and as time moved on we didn’t see each other. Still I always remembered Lois for her enthusiasm, her creativity, her love for life and her sense of humour. My deepest sympathy to all her family. May you find peace in your wonderful memories.

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  10. I worked with Lois at Vincent Massey school in the Workshop program in the 1980’s and always enjoyed her cheerful energy and efficiency. She was a wonderful teacher and the sort of person who made a lasting impression on you. I am sure she will be missed by many.
    My sympathy to all of Lois’ family.

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  11. Peter & Marilyn Black :

    Our dear, dear friend we will miss you forever more.Our thoughts are with those you’ve left behind, Heidi, family and friends.Happy gardening in the heavens.

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  12. A light has gone out in the hood. The peeps share in your pain Heidi and family. She will be missed by anyone who had a chance to know her and her beautiful spirit.

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  13. Al Lindsay and MaryHelen Blackall :

    Very sorry to hear about Lois. She was a lovely person to know. We knew her through running, coaching, and teaching. She was conciensous and fair with all that she did, work or play, and her sense of humour carried her, and others, through some difficult situations.
    Our condolences to Suzanne and Heidi and their families at this sad and stressful time.
    Al and MaryHelen

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  14. Sharon Campbell :

    Lois was introduced to me by her daughter, Heidi, a colleague and friend who asked me to take her on as a massage client. We became fast friends, sharing our love for bargain hunting and stories of our grandchildren. I was lamenting to my daughter how sad it was that Lois spent so much time getting her home and garden together so perfectlyand now, not being able to enjoy it…when it dawned on me…she enjoyed every minute of it!!! Something about the journey, not the destination. Always with us in spirit.
    P.S. passing on 11/12/13….Lois would have loved that…she always counted….

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  15. We were so sorry to hear of Lois’ passing, and of the long struggle she’s had over the past while. We loved her energy and interest in all things creative, and enjoyed hearing all about her wonderful grandchildren.

    Bev Ruffo & Sandy Marincic

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  16. Donna Manorek-Gray :

    We lost track of each other over the years but your mother and grandmother Lois and I spent many fun times and countless hours together through our skating years. There was always Aunt Lil and Uncle Harry – who were wonderful. Lois was always a character with that great wide smile always ready for some fun. She was a trickster whose claim to fame at the rink was the highest spiral of anyone who wore skates. She could not only rival Sacha Cohen with this beautiful manoeuver but Lois could also be seen performing this trick while balancing on the seat of her bike. She taught me to ride a two wheeler (it was actually Uncle Harry’s). We spent hours – even years – just girlfriends who loved to skate and have fun together. I am sorry we lost touch and so very sorry that Lois and that huge smile have gone. My deepest sympathies to you – her family. What the heart has once owned it shall never lose. Sincerely, Donna Manorek-Gray.

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  17. Lana Moskaluk :

    I have only known Lois for a brief period through her adoption of a greyhound named Earl. I thoroughly enjoyed her daily phone calls to me to tell me how Earl was doing and I loved it when I was able to spend an afternoon in her garden. She graciously presented me with some of her favorite plants and when the snow leaves and my garden at the cottage sprouts up, the tears for Lois will fall again. I truly am blessed to have known her for even a short period of time. I am so sorry Heidi and family.


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  18. George Gadsdon :

    Dear Family of Lois,

    Miss Atkinson was my Grade 4 teacher at King Edward School in 1961. I tried about five years ago to find her on the internet, but could only contact the teachers’ pension fund, and they advised me they were unable to assist me. Such a pity. I wanted to share with your mother the impact she’d had on a little 9 year old boy. My parents were separated, and my mother was working as a ward aide at Hamilton General Hospital. She did her best to support 4 children on a meager salary, but I guess it was obvious to Miss Atkinson, that we were not doing well at all. The public health nurse visited the school, and asked if all of the students had a tooth brush. I was one of the few in the class who raised their hand to indicate I did not have one. The nurse announced that she would be returning on a certain date, and would be selling brushes for 10 cents. I confided in Miss Atkinson that my mother could not afford to buy a toothbrush, so she offered to me that she would buy me one, and that I could work it off at the rate of one cent a day, by carrying her briefcase to her car after school each day. So, there I was – without the knowledge of my classmates, taking her briefcase down to her Volkswagen every afternoon, thereby paying for my own toothbrush (and getting a free ride home in her car, to boot)! At the end of the school year, she announced that the top boy and girl students would be rewarded for their efforts, by being taken for a picnic to Webster’s Falls by Miss Atkinson, and her (then) boyfriend, Stu Daly. (He was a very well-known DJ on 900CHML radio in those days.) A girl named Nina Lesko and I were the chosen students. The four of us had such a great time visiting Webster’s Falls. I was so-o-o-o unworldly in those days! I had never even heard of Webster’s Falls.

    Time moved on, and I went to live with my father, and attended Queen Mary School on Cannon St. I often thought of Lois, as I came out of school and looked at her house directly across the street from Queen Mary. (I think it was 1085 Cannon St., or something close to that.)

    I had hoped before she (or I) died, that I could share with her how grateful I was for her instilling in me a sense of self-worth, and the value of earning your own way in this world. I ended up attending the very first “enrichment” program at Ryerson Sr. Public School, and I had many, many teachers after Miss Atkinson. I would like you to know that your (relative), Miss Atkinson, had more impact on my life than all of my other teachers combined. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to share the details of my adulthood with Lois, so she could have rested assured that her efforts were not in vain. Although I did not “complete” my education, I was fortunate enough to have had a 30 year career with the Toronto Police Service, retiring in 2001 at the rank of Staff Sergeant. Since that time, I have worked as a Licensed Paralegal, defending motorists in traffic court. I raised 4 sons, who are all now in their 30’s. Five years ago, my second wife and I travelled to China to complete the adoption of our beautiful little girl, Julia. She’s now six years old, and is the love of our lives.

    Please accept my profound condolences for your loss, but please also, take heart in knowing that your loved one was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of person, who without ever being properly thanked, and without ever knowing the enormity of her influence, helped a poor little boy develop into a responsible, caring man who never forgot his roots.

    I hope this tribute finds its way to you, and that it brings old memories to the surface, and a smile to your face. By all means, feel free to contact me by e-mail.

    George Gadsdon

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