Rhea A. Adgate

June 23, 1927July 18, 2012

Rhea Ann Adgate of Ann Arbor, Michigan went to be with her loving Lord and Savior on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 after battling cancer. God truly sustained her with his gracious presence and the support of family, friends, and caring medical professionals. We all rejoice that she now has full healing and “the joy of the Lord is her strength.” Rhea was born in Goodrich, Michigan, June 23, 1927. She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Fern Yerkey and three sisters and two brothers. She is survived by her three children: Steve & Ellen Adgate of Wisconsin, Bob & Ronda Adgate of Virginia and Ann & Dale Duckworth of Indiana as well as nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Rhea attended Michigan State University and earned a degree in Education in 1949, followed by a Masters Degree at MSU. She was a sorority member of Zeta Tau Alpha and among the first female cheerleaders of MSU. She was Assistant Professor of Home Economics at Valparaiso University until her retirement. She also taught in public schools in Grandville, Linden, and Fenton, Michigan. She received a distinguished service award (The Sagamore of the Wabash) from the Governor of Indiana. Rhea thoroughly enjoyed her family, friends, and life in Ann Arbor including being an active member of Huron Hills Church. She was active in two Bible Studies. She also cherished neighbors and gardening at Sequoia Place. Rhea will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered. Visitation will be on Sunday, July 22, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 403 South Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. A funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 23, at Huron Hills Church, 3150 Glazier Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. The family will also receive friends from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. at the church. Burial will take place at the Goodrich Cemetery in Goodrich, MI. Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Please visit to sign the guest book and leave your condolences for the family.


  • Visitation Sunday, July 22, 2012
  • Visitation Monday, July 23, 2012
  • Funeral Service Monday, July 23, 2012

Rhea A. Adgate

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August 20, 2012

I send my condolences to the family. Rhea was a wonderful lady who I had the privelege to meet as a student at Valparaiso University. She was not only my faculty advisor and professor in Child Development but a helpful mentor during my undergraduate years. May she rest in peace and in the comfort of our Heavenly Father.

Tina Kanne

August 11, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May the memories you hold dear bring you comfort. I remember Rhea always cooking up something good.

Chris Lakin

August 2, 2012

I have also known Rhea from the harmonica group at U of M and I remember all the laughs we had along with her interesting stories. My condolences to your family for your loss. She loved life!

Beth Guzman

August 2, 2012

I met Rhea several years ago at U of M Pulmonary Rehab and she and I were both in the "Harmonica Group" at Rehab. She was a delightful and caring woman whom I had the priviledge to know. It was amazing when she played her miniature harmonica. I will always remember her.

July 30, 2012

Gwynn Sterken and I delivered Meals on Wheels to Rhea and she always greeted us with a big hug and her shining smile. Rhea loved to chat and asked about our families and most of all enjoyed hearing about our travels. In turn, she shared her love for her family and was eager to let us know when her kids were coming for a visit or when she was off to sail or a family event. Gwynn and I gave her a thumbs up on her lovely wedding outfit that she was so proud to wear as the grandmother.
We admired how she faced these last months with courage and though sad to know she is gone, we know that she is a bright light in heaven.
It was a joy to know your Mom! With sympathy, Jan Hartmann

Marie Lee

July 26, 2012

Rhea was a loving Christian woman. Her enthusiasm for living did not falter. We now rejoice in her entrance to her heavenly home.

Jennifer Moore

July 23, 2012

I met Momma A. at one band concert. I knew then what a remarkable lady she was. May your loving memories bring you warmth and comfort in the days ahead. ---Jen & Micah

July 23, 2012

What a courageous woman Rhea was! When I met her, I instantly fell in love with her and was enthralled with her life story. She fought cancer straight on and inspired many! Rest peacefully dear Rhea! Love you... Stacy Kudlak

Diana Jonen

July 22, 2012

I'm sorry for your loss, Steve and family. Your mom sounds like she was quite an amazing lady. It's great that you were able to get to Michigan for frequent visits.

Dorothhy Yenni

July 22, 2012

I remember her with such fondness - I knew her through Turner Clinic, until my retirement 3 yrs. ago, but continued to run into her after that, and always enjoyed catching up a bit. She was remarkable, so very strong in dealing with so much. I know she will be missed by so many.