FLORENCE ANDERSON RHODES
SEP 8th, 1904 – FEB 14th, 2002
The daughter of one of La Center's earliest pioneers was Florence Anderson: the tenth child of Benjamin Anderson and Anna Brothers Anderson. Her paternal grandparents were Carolyn and Magilbra Anderson. She had nine brothers and two sisters.
Florence loved being outdoors and working along side her brothers in the barns. She had her own sheep and would often drive Midge, their pony and pull the cart.
She was a student at Oakdale School until it burned down, then continued at La Center until tenth grade, when she had to leave to help on the farm. A girl with an independent spirit, she later graduated from Colusa high school in California and went on to take a business college course in Portland. But in her heart La Center was always her home.
Florence worked at the La Center Telephone Company and La Center Post Office before marrying the love of her life Charles Rhodes on July 6, 1929. Although they lived in Portland, Longview and Woodland for awhile, they returned to La Center where Charles and his brother Ralph owned the Rhodes Brothers Store and later Charles and Florence owned the La Center Feed Store.
Florence and Charlie had four children, Charlene, Glennie, Eddie and Rod. They were all born at home with Dr. Hoffman bringing each of the babies into the world
She was an avid baker and often surprised her grandkids and family members by mailing cookies to them, Always involved in some project, she worked with her children on their projects and assignments. Even when times were tough, Florence and Charlie were determined that all four children attend college for as long as they wanted to go. Eddie and Rod graduated from Washington State.
Florence started the first Cub Scout troop in La Center, was active in PTA, and the WWII Air raid warning system program. An avid member of the La Center Garden Club, she was always helping others in numerous ways.
Even after her husband died of leukemia, Florence continued helping others in the community. She loved and nurtured twelve grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Florence was Grand Marshall of the "Our Days" La Center Parade in 1985.
She brought sunshine to all who knew her, with a hearty laugh and a warm smile. She passed away on Valentine’s Day 2002.
Interview ca 2008 - 2012 by Candy Falk