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314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Patricia Jeanette (O'Hare) Rhodes

Died: Fri., Jan. 16, 2015


Celebration of Life

1:00 PM Sat., Jun. 20, 2015
Location: Patrick McNulty Pavilion


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Stevensville - Patricia Jeannette O’Hare Rhodes, 80, passed away from natural causes on the evening of January 16, 2014 at her daughter and son in laws’ home. Patti was born on February 21, 1934, the only child to Edward and Myrtle O’Hare at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula. They made their home on a ranch just north of the Etna schoolhouse. When Patti was 9 her father built a house on their new ranch on the Eastside near Spooner Cr. and Groff lanes that she would call home for the next 70+ years. She spent her idyllic childhood roaming, riding and exploring her Bitterroot home while helping her father farm and raise Hereford cattle. Patti attended school at Etna, Victor and finally Stevensville where she graduated as co-valedictorian with her good friend Robert Griffin in 1951. It was while she was in high school that Patti met, and would later marry, Jon Weston Rhodes. Following graduation from SHS Patti enrolled in the School of Journalism at the University of Montana. She joined the Alpha Phi sorority and also took voice lessons from John Lester while at the U of M. In 1955 she graduated from the U of M with honors. Patti began her long career in journalism shortly after graduation when she accepted a job working for KGVO radio in the advertising department. That same summer she married her high school sweetheart, Weston, during the summer solstice. Together they lived in Missoula while Weston finished college at the U of M. They then moved back to the ranch they bought from her parents to pursue lives of farming and ranching. Patti and Weston had 3 children; Michael (1958), Peter (1959) and Mary Pat (1968). Patti was very active in the community and was a member of the Stevensville School Board for several years where she served as the Chairman for much of that time. In 1982, after the kids were mostly done with high school, she was recruited by a retiring Martha Burke to write for the Ravalli Republic. She worked there until she ‘retired’ in 1996. Her career at the Ravalli Republic brought her much joy and she met many people, including co-workers, who became very good friends. She then worked as a free-lance journalist for several years contributing articles to the Ravalli Republic, Bitterroot Star, Missoulian and the Associated Press. One of Patti’s proudest accomplishments was being voted Citizen of the Year by the Stevensville Civic Club in 2001. Patti loved reading, writing, family adventures and picnics in the oval and on St. Mary’s Mountain. She grew a magnificent garden that she would harvest and preserve yearly. Music was a constant in her household with her singing and piano playing as well as the singing from local teenagers and young adults to whom she gave voice lessons. She had a quick wit and loved a raucous Trivial Pursuit game around the dining room table with family and friends that would last into the wee hours of the morning. She liked to track Venus in the evening sky and she watched Jeopardy every evening until she passed. A lifelong knowledge seeker and educator on Montana history, her stories documenting Lewis and Clark’s expedition and St. Mary’s Mission are referred to often. In her later years the two lights of her life were born, granddaughters Lilli Osler and a few years later, Riley Rhodes. Mom was a strong minded Irish Catholic Democrat. She believed in the power of civil discourse with ultimate compromise and was disgusted by the lack of either. No matter what Mom was involved in she made fast lifelong friends. Whether it was at school board, working at the paper, or belonging to various clubs and organizations, she never met a stranger. Space simply doesn’t allow us to mention everyone she loved. Please know that each of you was very dear and important to her. Patti was preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Weston. She is survived by sons Michael (Penny), Peter (Becky), daughter Mary Pat (Robbie) Osler, and her precious granddaughters Lilli and Riley. There will be a Celebration of Patti's life on June 20th at the Patrick McNulty Pavilion located on the grounds of St. Mary’s church, beginning at 1:00 p.m. MST The family would like to thank; Karen Johnson, a friend and caregiver to mom on her final journey, Partners in Homecare, and particularly Libby and Melanie, whose attention and respect toward mom was so very appreciated, and finally, William Reynolds, Mom’s lifelong friend and physician who was at her side on her final day. In lieu of gifts, the family requests that donations/memorials be made to Partners in Homecare of Missoula or St. Mary’s Mission in Stevensville.

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Jamie B. Yule
   Posted Fri January 30, 2015
My deepest sympathy to you all on the death of your vital, beautiful and thoroughly good mother and grandma. Patti and I were classmates at UM and in Alpha Phi together. I loved her a lot! And although I have not seen her or heard from her since 1955, she has always remained one of my most treasured memories of university years. Her spirit was infectious, and I am confident it still lives on in the Resurrection. She and all of you are in my prayers.

Barbara Mellott Tidyman
   Posted Fri January 30, 2015
My sincere sympathy to Pat's family. I lived in Hamilton and knew Pat while in high school, and then was a classmate in journalism at the U of Montana. When Pat left KVOA she contacted me and I took her place there writing commercials. In later years, even though I lived in California, I subscribed to the Ravalli Republic and enjoyed her stories of the Bitter Root so much. While in college, I considered Pat a close friend, and remember her warm, thoughtful personality and her considerable journalism talents.

Ceryl Baldwin
   Posted Fri February 06, 2015
Dear Mike, Peter and Mary Pat,
I am late in sending this to you but just want you to know how much I enjoyed your mom. We became friends shortly after I moved here, with Carl, through the choir at St. Mary's and remained friends in the years to follow. I was looking forward to seeing her the Friday she past as it was my turn to deliver communion. We had such long and interesting conversations each time I came so I always made sure she was the last visit on my schedule so we could talk as long as she wanted. I will miss her as I know you all will. I will keep you all in my prayers.

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