Cornelia Elizabeth Rhoads, 70, passed away March 1, 2022, at her home, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Bangor, Maine on July 4, 1951, the daughter of Robert Barlow Rhoads and Phyllis Ann Paul Rhoads.
Cornelia grew up on her parents’ 140-acre horse farm in Old Town, Maine. The Rhoads were a close and loving family, and Cornelia was a devoted daughter to her parents, as well as a kind and loving big sister and role model to her three younger sisters, Ruth, Alecta, and Alesia. She also spent much of her childhood caring for an assortment of animals on the farm, from horses and sheep to cats and dogs. These childhood experiences were the beginning of a lifelong love of animals, as well as a lifelong commitment to caring for others, especially the ones she loved.
Cornelia graduated from Old Town High School in 1970. She went on to attend the University of Maine and graduated in 1974 with a degree in Child Development. After college, she went to work as a nursery schoolteacher. Her kind, warm, and caring personality made her perfect for this role, and she went on to teach nursery school for over 30 years.
Cornelia married Norman Buck, and together they started a family at their home in Old Town, Maine. In 1979, the most important person in Cornelia’s life was born, her son Rob Rhoads. Cornelia was an incredibly devoted and loving mother and was determined to provide every opportunity she could to her son. Growing up, Rob was an outstanding athlete, and Cornelia, Norm, and Rob made many happy memories as a family, traveling around Maine and across the country to numerous sporting events. Later, she was an ever-present fan at Rob’s football, basketball, and baseball games for Orono High School, as well as at Rob’s baseball games for Brandeis University. Cornelia never missed a game, she was always there to support her son, not only in sports, but in everything he did.
Cornelia remained close to her parents, living just down the road from them in Old Town. She was there for them as they got older, and she and Norm would often drop by to visit and bring them dinner or a homemade dessert. She was a terrific baker and was renowned by all who knew her for her ability to make desserts that were both delicious and healthy. Cornelia and Norm also treasured their trips to see Rob, whose work had taken him to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. They made many special trips to see Rob, his wife Heather, and their two children, Charlotte, and Emerson.
Later, after the passing of her husband, Cornelia moved to Mount Pleasant to be closer to the family that she loved so dearly. She doted on her two granddaughters and was an enthusiastic supporter at Charlotte and Emerson’s dance recitals and sporting events, cheering them on just as she had done for Rob many years earlier.
To all those who knew her, Cornelia will be remembered for her kind, loving, and caring nature, and for her devotion to her family and the ones she loved. She also had a fun-loving side and was always up for a spur-of-the-moment shopping excursion or a dance party in the kitchen. She had a reputation as a prankster who could always make you laugh.
Cornelia’s family will also be forever grateful to the caregivers at Bright Star - Cori, Dee, Shirley, and Valencia, for the love and compassion they showed to Cornelia and her family over the last year. They brought joy and laughter to Cornelia and her family.
Cornelia is survived by her sisters, Ruth Rhoads-Vigue, Alecta Rhoads, and Alesia Rhoads; her son Rob and his wife Heather; her granddaughters Charlotte and Emerson Rhoads, and many nephews and nieces.
Those wishing to remember Cornelia in a special way may make donations in her memory to an animal shelter or adopt a pet.
A memorial service in celebration of Cornelia’s life will be held in Maine this summer.