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Catherine "Katie" Rhoades


1920 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Catherine "Katie" Rhoades Obituary
CATHERINE KATIE RHOADES Catherine "Katie" Rhoades passed away peacefully on January 12, 2018. Her daughter Becky and son-in-law Jonathan were by her side to the end. Catherine, as she was called then, was born November 17, 1920. She was the eldest daughter of Leo and Elizabeth Spreitzer of Omaha Nebraska, and had 7 brothers and sisters. She could tell you many stories about growing up during the depression. She remembers her dad coming home from town and telling her mom that the banks were closed and there was no money. As such, her mom and dad had to work whatever jobs they could to feed their family. Catherine was left to care for all her younger siblings. At 17 she went to work for a nursing home and made $1.00 a day to help buy groceries for the family. Her next job was at a meat cutting plant where she was a "hog head trimmer". She made good money working there, 63 1/2 cents per hour! It was here she met and married her first husband, Frank Miller. They were blessed with four children, Frank Jr., Kathy, Bill and Karen. Her husband died from an accident and left her with children ages 10 to 2. She worked and made ends meet but felt she needed a fresh start. A family friend living in Eureka suggested Katie, as she was now called, to come out for a visit and try to find a job. Katie took her friend's advice and made her way out to California. She stayed at the Redwood Motel on Fortuna Boulevard and went to work as a waitress for Mr. & Mrs. Dione at the Home Caf‚, their newly opened business. She soon sent for her children and when they arrived they moved into a house on Renner Drive and attended school in Fortuna. She then took a job at the bowling alley running the lunch counter when Marie Parlato, who owned the Italian restaurant next door observed her working. She asked Katie to come to work for her as a cook. This was a new experience for a girl from Nebraska who didn't know what a ravioli was and never cooked a lobster or a steak on a commercial grill. Marie trained her in the kitchen for 30 days and then Katie was on her own. She worked there and ran the kitchen at Parlatos for 25 years. Katie talked fondly about her time there and said she put her whole heart into her work there and it was one of the best times in her work life. The girls at the restaurant fondly called her Katie, Katie the Cooking Lady! On September 8, 1964, Katie married Harold (Red) Rhoades who owed the Texaco station in town. They purchased their home on Meadowbrook Lane in Fortuna and at age 44, Katie and Red had a little girl named Carolyn Rebecca. She was called Becky by her family. Katie worked at Parlatos up to the night Becky was born. She only took 6 weeks maternity leave from the restaurant. Her life was busy raising 5 children, working full time, being a wife and helping Red with the service station. Katie and Red were devout Catholics and members of St. Josephs Parrish in Fortuna. Katie became a member of the church in 1960 and remained a member until her passing. Always having an attitude of service, she was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the Alter Society. She took up the collection and folded the bulletin for 33 years! She was always willing to help with funeral receptions, soup suppers and anything else the church asked her to do. Becky received her First Communion at St. Josephs. One by one the kids grew and moved on to make their own life. In 1981 Katie began volunteering as a Pink Lady at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna. She would always say how proud she was to put on her Pink Lady uniform and walk through the halls of the hospital. Sister Florence trained the volunteers to make the beds, feed patients and make medical charts. Katie loved making the charts and that became her job there at the hospital when she volunteered. She volunteered at the hospital for 30 years. Red passed away in 2003. Katie remained in their home on Meadowbrook and stayed busy. She had a wonderful network of friends. Her hobbies included gardening which was her passion, crocheting, sewing and making craft projects. She also joined the Red Hatters and kept busy with the ladies there. Katie was a woman who gave 110% to whatever she endeavored. She was loved by many and will be missed by all. She is survived by her son Frank Miller, daughter Kathy Mills, daughter and son-in-law Becky and Jonathan and many other family members. Her son Bill passed in 2009 and Karen passed on 2010. The family will hold graveside services in the summer at Ocean View Cemetery. The date will be publicized for anyone that would like to attend. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com
Published in Eureka Times-Standard on Jan. 27, 2018
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