Gloria Jean Hipple Rhodes, 70, Clarion, died Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011, at her home after a heroic battle with pancreatic and liver cancer.
Gloria was born Aug. 22, 1941, in Titusville. She was the daughter of the late Jeanne (Russell) Hipple Williams and the late Harold Hipple. She was the step-daughter of the late Harry Williams.
May 27, 1995, she married the love of her life, Arnie Rhodes. They shared sixteen-and-a-half years together.
Gloria was known as “Duchess of the Kane District,” where Arnold served as District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church.
She took pleasure in being the pastor’s wife at Clarion First United Methodist Church and hosting the open house for staff and the congregation.
Gloria was a graduate of Oil City High School in 1959 and Welch’s Business School, Oil City.
Gloria started her telecommunication career in 1960 as a customer service representative for General Telephone in Oil City. In 1963, she transferred to the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company in Alexandria, Va.
She continued as a customer service representative until 1966. At the young age of 26 years, she was promoted to a business office supervisor. She was then promoted to a training instructor for management and non-management personnel. She received several awards for outstanding performances in both of these capacities.
In 1988, Gloria received her second promotion to staff manager by AT&T to the training division at Parsippany, N.J. She was responsible for nationwide development and design of training materials for use in branch offices. She traveled extensively nationwide as a new manager trainer.
Gloria retired from AT&T and moved back to Oil City in 1992.
Gloria was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She enjoyed visiting shut-ins as a member of the church’s Tender Loving Care group. She served as editor of the newsletter for the Lioness of Oil City. She volunteered at the Oil City Head Start.
Gloria was a member of First United Methodist Church of Clarion, where she sang in the choir for seven years.
Gloria enjoyed traveling, especially to Europe and the Holy Lands, for a total of sixteen countries. She enjoyed the theater, movies and shopping with her sisters and friends.
Gloria was known for her contagious laughter and smile. During her illness, she demonstrated her determination and faith, as well as her compassion and caring for others. To many, she was a loyal friend. She especially enjoyed her two cats, Sasha and Precious.
In addition to her husband, surviving relatives include a daughter, Angela Ball of Pontiac, Mich.; a son, Thomas J. Ball III of Manassas, Va.; a step-daughter, Lesley McGill and husband Todd of Rocky Grove; a step-son, Christopher Rhodes and wife Stephanie of Edinboro; six grandchildren, Taylor and Thomas (T.J.) Ball of Manassas, Va., Lauren and Nathan McGill of Rocky Grove, and Greysen and Griffin Rhodes of Edinboro; two sisters, Sandra Bickel and husband Jerry of Reno, and Marian Money of High Point, N.C.; and seven nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by a close friend of 50 years, Dee De Arment and husband Howard of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Friends will be received from 6 to 7 p.m. today at the Goble Funeral Home & Crematory, Clarion.
A funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Clarion with the Rev. Dr. George Bashore, Bishop of the United Methodist Church; The Rev. Mr. Thomas Funk, friend and United Methodist Pastor; and The Rev. Dr. Deryl Larsen, Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Clarion, officiating.
Interment will be held Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, at the Grove Hill Cemetery in Oil City.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to either the First United Methodist Church, 6th & Wood Street, Clarion; or to the Cancer Center at Clarion Hospital, One Hospital Dr., Clarion.
Friends and family may leave online condolences, or send sympathy cards or flowers by visiting www.goblefh.net .