January 2, 1934 – March 25, 2021
Lenore M. Feather Rhodes Ann Arbor, Michigan
beloved mother, grandmother, and friend passed away peacefully at home on Thursday March 25, 2021 surrounded by her children. She was 87. Lenore Margaret Feather was born January 2, 1934 in Hutchinson Kansas to John Arthur Feather and Edith Lenore Simanton Feather. Eldest of four children, Mom was raised on the original Feather fruit farm homestead in the community of Hinchman, Berrien County, Michigan. In addition to helping on the farm, Mom was accomplished at sewing, wining 4H ribbons for pin tucking, and talented as a musician, playing flute and piano. She played her flute in orchestra and marching band at Benton Harbor High School graduating in 1952. From there she attended Michigan State University (her parents Alma Mater) majoring in History and Science, playing flute in the athletic pep band for the Football and Basketball teams. Mom said it was a real treat as these were the Duffy Daughtery championship football years! Over the summer of 1954, Mom worked as a Quality Inspector at Michigan Fruit Canners where she meet the love of her life H. Thomas Rhodes. Graduating from MSU in 1956 with a teaching degree, she and Tom married on June 24, 1956. While her husband finished his undergrad degree at MSU, she began her teaching career at nearby Grand Ledge HS. Upon his graduation, they moved to Albuquerque New Mexico, where Tom started his engineering career. There, she took art classes at the University of New Mexico and taught school; giving birth to her son Thomas in 1958. The family relocated to Ann Arbor Michigan in 1960 where Tom Sr. attended graduate school and Mom supported as a member of the University of Michigan Dames. Mom gave birth to three more children: Jeffery, Melanie and Jonathan. After a time she went back to work teaching at Bellville HS. In 1972, Mom changed career with a new job at the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health Department of Epidemiology as a research associate working on Influenza viruses with renowned Dr. Arnold Monto. In 1975 she completed a Master’s Degree in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan. In 1981, she moved to the Department of Dermatology working on supporting research for Retin-A, Acutane, and Rogain. Over the years performing leading edge skin research for cancer and burn patients. She finished her career in the Department of Plastic Surgery working on viable skin replacement. With her expertise in tissue culture, she helped to train many researchers. During her 30-year career Mom contributed to numerous research papers and is named on 5 patents. She mentored women in science and is a named member of of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Mom knew when she married her husband her life would be an adventure. Having camped in most of the National Parks while the kids were young, later in life they traveled all over the world. Highlights include, sailing the Nile in Egypt on a felucca, camera safari trips in a Land Rover from Pretoria to Cape Town, South Africa. Exploring Etosha National Park and the orange dunes of Namibia and visiting the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. They canoed in a makoro through the Okevango Delta of Botswana and white water rafted on the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Explored ancient ruins in Greece and Turkey, sailing the Turkish coast in a native gullet. Other memorable adventures took place in India, Nepal, China, Japan and Chili to Argentina via a cruise through the Straights of Magellan. In 2003 her beloved husband Tom passed away, but Mom did not slow down. She embraced the arrival of her grandchildren Stanley, Thomas and Lillian. Nicknamed the “green gram” she attended all her grandchildren’s events and took a keen interest in their learning to play piano, violin, viola, and cello. She continued her travels accompanied by her Aunt Donna, covering the Western US, Hawaii, Scandinavia and attending the Simanton family reunion in Scotland. Throughout her life our mom had a love of gardening. She was always planting flowers, bushes trees, bulbs, grafting and clipping to start new plants. She loved to sew, making Halloween costumes, dresses and shirts. She loved animals, especially her beloved cat Tiger Lily and watching birds at her bird feeder. Her love and generosity will be greatly missed. Lenore is survived by her children; Thomas Rhodes (Huda Fadel), Jeffrey Rhodes (Ning Tsui), Melanie Rhodes (all of Ann Arbor), Jonathan Rhodes (Montville NJ). Grandchildren; Stanley Rhodes, Thomas Botsford-Rhodes, Lillian Botsford-Rhodes. Brother; John (Eileen) Feather. A celebration of life will be held Friday April 2nd at 1:00 pm at Muehlig’s Funeral Home. Interment of Ashes at Forest Hills Cemetery will take place at later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Arbor Hospice or Humane Society of Huron Valley.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
April 3, 2021
Sending love and strength to Jon and the family. Love J.J., Homer & Beefaroni. xoxo
March 30, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of Lenore's passing. I worked with Lenore over several years renting out property for her in Ann Arbor. What an independent spirit, a very well educated and interesting person. It was a pleasure to know her and I know she will be missed by all her family and friends