Ruth E. Rhoads

  • Born: September 26, 1923
  • Died: April 8, 2016
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240
Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family

Ruth E. Rhoads, 92, of Iowa City died peacefully April 8, 2016 at Hospice House in Hiawatha, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held at a time to be announced in July 2016 and details will be forthcoming. Burial will be in the Stanwood Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to 4C's (Community Coordinated Child Care) and directed to Gay & Ciha Funeral Service, 2720 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240.

Ruth was born September 26, 1923 at Elmira, Graham Township in rural Johnson County, Iowa; daughter of Roain Elizabeth (Foraker) Donovan and Edward Leo Donovan. She graduated from University High School in 1941 and Iowa City Commercial School in 1945. She worked at the Johnson County Department of Welfare for several years.

On December 16, 1949 she married William D. "Bill" Rhoads and the resided in Stanwood. Ruth worked at the high school in Stanwood from 1961 to 1973. She and Bill set up for craft shows for a number of years; Bill made a large variety of wooden toys and other wooden items and Ruth finished them. She worked at Cedar Manor Nursing Home in Tipton, Iowa from 1988 to 1992 and at the Mechanicsville Nursing Home from late October to March 1993. She moved to Iowa City in April 1993 and worked at the 4C's Toy Library for eight years and then at Grant Wood Elementary for seven years, retiring in 2008. Ruth resided at Emerson Point in Iowa City from 2009 through 2011 and moved to the Solon Care Center in December of 2011.

Ruth's family includes her two sons, Mark (Britta Penca) Rhoads of Oracle, AZ and William (Melinda) Rhoads of Cedar Rapids; brother, Ralph Donovan of Solon; three grandchildren, Tera (David) Denial of CA, Tristan (Ryan) Ellis, and Mikaela (Travis) Brockett and granddaughter-in-law, Melissa Rhoads of KY; three great-grandchildren, Jacquelyn, Bryan and Kevin of Kentucky and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her dear grandson, Burke Rhoads; husband, Bill in 1987 and sister, Gertrude M. Brown.

Ruth's family would like to express sincere gratitude to the staffs of the Solon Care Center and the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Mercy Hospice House of Hiawatha for the excellent care they have provided.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Deepest condolences to my cousin Ruth's family and friends. She was a wonderful person and I am very sorry I won't be able to see her again.
Kathleen Donovan, Halifax

Posted by A friend   April 14, 2016

As one of Ruth's younger 1st cousins I have many years of beautiful memories of her. As a little girl I looked forward to visits and staying for a week or so on the family farm. I learned much from Ruth, Gert and Aunt Lib on those visits. When the chores were done Ruth was always willing to play games and entertain me. If she didn't enjoy being saddled with a younger cousin she was certainly a good actress!
Later I recall always stopping in Stanwood to visit Ruth and Bill whenever we journeyed to Iowa City from Maquoketa. After moving to this area with my husband and children during the 1970"s I came to appreciate Ruth as an adult and enjoyed many times with her. Her sense of humor was a joy. She was truly interested in and cared about every member of the extended family. I don't believe she ever missed a family event -- whether happy or sad. Rest in peace dear Ruth. My sympathy to Bud, Mark, Bill and your families.
Cousin Rachel Porter

Posted by Rachel Porter - Coralville, IA   April 12, 2016

Aunt Ruth was a wonderful support to me throughout my life. I always enjoyed her fight, humor, and love of family. I have fond memories of a "college visit" to Minnesota (on a bus) and many spirited visits! May she be rest in peace and have all the blessings deserved of a life well lived here on earth. She accompanied me to a college visit as a teenager and

Posted by Beth Donovan-Erenberger - Whitefish Bay, WI   April 11, 2016


I am so sorry for your loss. Ruth was a very dear sweet lady. She lived east of me here in Iowa City. My mother and I would talk to her on occasion. We even took a walk together a time or so. Again, I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my mother Rosie last November.

Rini Hudachek

Posted by Rini Hudachek - Iowa City, IA - Neighbor   April 11, 2016

I am sure Aunt Ruth is happy now, back with Uncle Bill and all the other family who have gone before
her. Rest in peace and joy Aunt Ruth

Posted by Jerri Lotempio - Iowa City, IA - Family   April 09, 2016

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