Barbara Virginia Rhoda, active volunteer

July 24, 2020

Barbara Virginia Rhoda, beloved wife, mother, and sister, 93, of Lewes passed away Tuesday, July 21, 2020. She was born Sept. 9, 1926, in Burlington, N.J., daughter of the late Frank and Alma (Johnson) Ambler.

At the age of 17, Barbara (Bobbi) graduated early from Burlington High School, Burlington, in 1944. She went to work for the war effort in finance, preparing military payrolls at Fort Dix, N.J. Two years later at a Ft. Dix Halloween party, Bobbi met U.S. Army Lieutenant William (Bill) O.A. Rhoda, shortly after he returned from the Pacific following World War II. At the age of 19, Bobbi married 23-year-old Bill May 11, 1946.  

During the time they were newlyweds, Bill was transferred to the U.S. Panama Canal Zone, an exotic location far different from the New Jersey family farm where Bobbie grew up. In Panama, Bobbi worked in finance again, preparing military payrolls, including those for undercover intelligence agents with assignments in South America. During her marriage, Bobbi was a model military wife who coordinated dozens of army moves, turned army quarters into warm and welcoming homes, and helped to organize Officers’ Wives’ Club events. 

Bobbi was a very creative and loving mother who hosted birthday parties for her children, Randy and Rhonda, that amounted to theatrical events. She and Bill planned fun family vacations that were always educational and frequently focused on American history. Their loving relationship and wonderful parenting provided Randy and Rhonda with a Disneyland-like childhood. Bobbi and Bill were married for almost 39 years before U.S. Army Major (Retired) William Rhoda passed away April 26, 1985, at the age of 62. 

Bobbi was a Life Master Duplicate Bridge player. She taught bridge, helped to establish the Chesapeake Duplicate Bridge Club in Harford County, Md., and was a longtime director of that club. Bobbie was also a voracious reader and an active volunteer for almost three decades for several local Harford County hospitals, most recently the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. 

Bobbie was fiercely independent, competent, self-reliant, and excelled at being a super mom. She was talented in crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint and oil painting.

After living in the same home in Edgewood, Md., for 50 years, in 2014, Bobbi relocated to Lewes to live closer to her daughter and son-in-law. She will be remembered for being a very loving, thoughtful, and devoted wife and mother. Bobbie was generous beyond measure, and was someone who always put the needs of her family before her own.   

Bobbi will be forever missed and is survived by her son, William Randolph (Randy) Rhoda of Watertown, Mass.; her daughter, Rhonda Rhoda Kane and her son-in-law, Paul Michael Kane of Lewes; and her 99-year-old sister, Alma Mary Burr of Rehoboth Beach.

Private funeral services will be held at Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, N.J., where Bobbi will be interred in the same gravesite as her husband and infant son, Rodd William Rhoda. 

It was Bobbi's wish that in lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL  33607, or!/donation/checkout, or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105, or

Please visit Bobbi's Life Memorial Webpage and sign her online guestbook at


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