Mary Virginia Rhodes
Dec 15, 1935 - May 25, 2013
by Mary Lewis
Elk Grove Citizen
Mary Virginia Rhodes, whose bright smile welcomed customers at both the Elk Grove Citizen and The Galt Herald for many years, died May 25, 2013 following a brief illness. She was 77.
She went to work in the circulation department of Herburger Publications in 1979, shortly after moving to Elk Grove with husband Raymond. From there she progressed to the front office of the Herald, then to the Citizen, then back to the Herald where she handled legal advertising for the firm until retiring in 2004.
“Queen Mary” as she was known around the Herald office considered her co-workers and the Herburgers as her extended family, and they “adopted” her, continuing to include her in office get-togethers.
“She was our matriarch,” said General Manager David Herburger. “I remember her when I was growing up and she continued to be a large part of my life as well as my family’s.”
Mrs. Rhodes was born Dec. 15, 1935 in Haworth, Okla. to Norman and Billie Hunter, the second of six children. The family moved to Willits where she graduated from Willits High School in 1953.
She was an avid bowler, serving as a league officer several times, and was also a great fan of Little League baseball. In Willits she was a supporter of the International Order of Job’s Daughters and active member of Marri-Eds serving as president.
She worked at Noyo Theatre and Berglund Tractor Co., and many in Willits may remember the breakfast waitress at her mother’s restaurant, Billie’s Coffee Shop, and later at Willits CafÃ© and Gribaldos.
Mary and Ray Rhodes were married in 1964 and moved to Elk Grove 15 years later. He passed away in 2007.
Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by brothers William (Dub) Hunter and Ken Hunter.
She is survived by her daughter Linda Wake and husband Tom of Ukiah; sons Larry of Sacramento and Ronald of southern California; granddaughters Angela Hansen and husband Eric and Amy Franklin and husband Mark all of San Diego, and Carleen Rhoades and husband Danny of Whitmore; great-grandchildren Abigail Hansen, Daniel and Colton Rhoades; and sister-in-law Dodie Rhodes of Craig, Colo.
Mrs. Rhodes was the sister of Karen Ross of Napa, Bob Hunter of Willits and Fran Russell of Mississippi. She also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life is planned for Saturday, June 29 at 11 a.m. at the Elk Grove Elks Lodge, 9240 Survey Road, Elk Grove.
Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1765 Challenge Way, Suite 115, Sacramento, CA 95815. Mrs. Rhodes requested that donations be marked either for lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Arrangements are by East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary.