Audrey Naome Rhodes (nee Ward)
“Somebody said it couldn’t be done
But [she] with a chuckle replied
Maybe it couldn’t but [she] would be one
Who wouldn’t say no til [she] tried
So, [she] buckled right in with a trace of a grin
On [her] face if [she] worried, [she] hid it
And [she] started to sing as [she] tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and [she] did it.”
Audrey Rhodes, staunch disciple of Edgar Albert Guest's poem, minus the ability to sing,
lost her long battle with dementia on January 23,2022. She now joins her father Leo, mom Dorothy, sister’s Leone and Eileen, her favourite Aunt Lil, and her many cats, as the family is once again reunited in peace. She leaves behind son Joe (Kelly), daughter Cathy (Bob), adopted son David (Yvonne), four grandchildren Nicole, Breanna (Paul), Jamie, Brandi (Josh) and one great grandchild Elliott.
Mom’s love of travel took her to every continent but Antarctica and over 50 countries mostly with her daughter Cathy, and son-in-law Bob by her side. Her fondest memories and stories were of the adventures she took while on these many excursions.
Born Audrey Naome Ward in 1933 in Arlee Saskatchewan, mom grew up a self-professed tomboy on the prairies of Saskatchewan. The family moved to Enderby, BC after a brief stint in North Vancouver when she was a teen. A year of normal school led her into the profession of teaching which she excelled in for 35 years before retiring. Her journey took her from North Vancouver to Duncan on Vancouver Island, to the small pulp mill town of Woodfibre, and finally to Squamish BC, where she taught most of her career at Brackendale Elementary. She was the President and Bargaining Chair of the Howe Sound Teacher’s Association for many years. Mom’s proudest achievements were her math students, struggling learners who she helped gain confidence and belief in themselves. She continued this support for kids through many years of tutoring after retirement.
She married twice in her life, early to John Gosnell with whom she had her children, and then later to her Fred Rhodes who pre-deceased her in 1999. The last 20 years she spent on her own travelling abroad as much as she could, with all who would join, until her dementia would no longer allow her to wander. She passed peacefully; 3 months shy of her 89th birthday.
A lover of the written word, mom started each morning reading and completing the daily crossword. She imparted in her children the Edgar Albert Guest's philosophy, and modelled it through her life. She continued to pursue her education her entire career and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree at age 52. An avid sewer and quilter, she could make anything; refurnish furniture, suits, grad gowns, wedding dresses, quilts and many, many items for charity. She was a passionate supporter and volunteer for many organizations in Squamish – the Squamish Library, School District #48 Scholarship Committee, Food Bank, and the Westcoast Railway Heritage Park. She served as president of the Squamish Hospital Auxiliary for many years and was proud to receive Honorary Lifetime Member recognition. Mom also donated countless hours and financial support to the causes she believed in, including fostering overseas children, B.C. Cancer Society, and Canuck Place.
The family would especially like to thank the very kind and caring staff at Hillside Care Home in Salmon Arm for their patience, kindness and support during the last months of mom’s life. Thanks also to Dr. Swope for her many years of guidance and care.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Squamish later in the Spring if Provincial Health Orders permit.
Proud of her Irish heritage, please raise a glass in her honour wherever you may be. She will be greatly missed, but so many fond memories and life lessons will keep her alive in our heart and mind.