Naomi Christine “Ni” Rhodes, 97, found peace and enjoyment with gardening

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Naomi Christine Rhodes

Naomi Christine “Ni” Rhodes

Naomi Christine “Ni” Rhodes, entered into the eternal house of the Lord Nov. 13, 2016.

Naomi was a loving wife and mother and friend to many. As a career military wife, she set up numerous state side and overseas households including Zaragoza, Spain, making a warm and loving home for her family with each new assignment. Their last assignment was the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk (1970) and they retired in Virginia Beach, where Naomi resided until her death.

Naomi was born Sept. 10, 1919, in Kenton, Del., to Isabella and Charles Urian, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded by her loving husband of 45 years, John Raymond “Dusty” Rhodes Jr.; brother, Charles Urian; sister, Jean Brown; and half-sister, Marie MacDonald.

Naomi grew up in Dover, Del., where she worked the family farm and attended a one room school house. Naomi graduated John Bassett Moore High School in 1938 and after attending business college was working in Dover where she met her husband, Dusty, a dashing young Army Air Corps aviator. They married after the war and settled into a military life. Together they had five children. Later in life when asked by a daughter-in-law (and new mother) how she managed four children under the age of five, she responded “play pens.” Mom never lost her sense of humor.

Naomi is survived by her children: daughters, Naomi Christine Rhodes, Kathleen Isabelle Rhodes, and sons, John Raymond Rhodes III, Robert Steven Rhodes, and Michael Thomas Rhodes, and their wives, Barbara, Betsy and Laura. She is also survived by six grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Timothy Stephen Rhodes, Brian William Rhodes, Jessica Rae Rhodes, Jill Lawton Brothers, Christopher Dorman and Ann Marie Horn; and great-grandchildren, Andrew John Rhodes, McKesson Wynn Rhodes, River Sophia Brothers, Katelyn Elizabeth Horn, Gavin Parker Horn, Christa Marie Horn and William Dorman. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

After the death of her husband in 1990, Naomi never lost her desire to visit new places, traveling the world visiting her daughter, Kathleen, who was a career officer in the U.S. Air Force. Naomi carried on a family tradition begun by her husband of renting a large beach house every two years and surrounding herself with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She would also always welcome her nieces and nephews to the biannual family gathering. While raising her children, Ni coached girls basketball and softball and volunteered as a den mother. Naomi was an active member of TOPS, Lake Smith Terrace Garden Club, a Red Cross Volunteer and a member of the Little Creek Chapter Alter Guild. While in Spain, she volunteered as a Gray Lady at the base hospital. Ni loved gardening, finding peace and enjoyment and saw God’s beauty in the limitless variety and color of the flowers she tended.

We her children will remember the care and guidance she gave to each of us, and we will miss her greatly. She had a remarkable life, spanning 97 years. We love you mom.

Funeral services will be at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Bayside Chapel, 1457 Independence Blvd., Virginia Beach, Friday, Nov. 18. Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. with a service at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with a reception at Cyprus Point Commons Club House on Foursome Lane. Naomi will be interned in Arlington National Cemetery with her beloved husband, Dusty.

In lieu of flowers, Ni asks that you donate to the charity of your choosing. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com.

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