Florence Martha ‘Marti’ Rhoads, consummate hostess

September 17, 2021

Florence Martha “Marti” Rhoads of Lewes passed away peacefully Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, at her home, surrounded by family. 

Marti was born 101 years ago July 3, 1920, in Chester, Pa., the daughter of the late Mildred (Markley) Smith and Thomas C. Smith.

She lived in several areas of Delaware County, Pa., including Springfield, Upper Providence, and Prospect Park throughout her adulthood. Later she lived in Claymont before moving to the Delaware beach communities of Rehoboth and Lewes, where she enjoyed boating, fishing, and entertaining multitudes of friends and family.

Marti selflessly dedicated her entire adult life to making a loving home for her family and was the consummate hostess for any welcomed visitor. 

Marti was known for her excellent cooking, and in particular, her baking prowess. People would travel hundreds of miles for a taste of her pies, cakes and rice pudding. She had a lovely singing voice and loved music, loved to relax in a rocking chair and was known for her fondness for sunflowers.

A true survivor, Marti endured the tragic deaths of three husbands.

She is survived by four devoted daughters: Rae O. Deitrich and her husband Robert, Paula G. Walter, Sue St. Laurent, and Karen L. Smith; as well as grandchildren: Robert Deitrich and wife Debra, William Deitrich and wife Amy, Martha Walter and husband Bill, Jacqueline Crawford and husband Robert, Danielle St. Laurent and husband Paul Dinello, Jason St. Laurent and wife Kellie, Adam St. Laurent, and Shana Sue Smith; and eight great-grandchildren. She will be sadly missed by her many beloved and devoted friends, including Therese McCallion and Vascar "Ed Downstairs" Eady.

A visitation will be held Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 to 11 a.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes. Friends are encouraged to honor Marti’s memory by wearing bright, happy, casual clothing - not black!  Services following the calling hour will be private.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed by all persons attending or participating in any aspect of the service, as required by the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Martha Rhoads to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or the charity of your choice.

Please visit Marti’s Life Memorial Webpage and sign her virtual guestbook at




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