BON AIR, VA. |
Kathleen Therese Brown Rodenburg
May 29, 1928 — Jan. 28, 2015
Kathleen Therese Brown Rodenburg, 86, of Bon Air, Va., died peacefully January 28, 2015, holding the hand of her beloved husband of 56 years, George B. Rodenburg. She was surrounded by her loving family and listening to her favorite Irish tenors.
She was the fourth of 10 children, raised in Waukesha.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John H. Brown and Agnes Flatley Brown; and siblings Jack, Mary, Jim, Tom, Joe and Pat Brown, and Thomas F. Harvey.
She is survived by her children, Anne Schlicher of Bon Air, Monica Durrette (Wyatt) of Urbanna, Va., George J. Rodenburg (Jill) of Severna Park, Md., and Martha Rodenburg (Grant Johnson) of Ashburn, Va. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Sarah Harvey (Ben Roberts); Heidi Schlicher Cook (Kevin), Robert H. Schlicher, Matthew Schlicher and their father, Robert A. Schlicher; Kathleen Connor Quaine; George Daniel Rodenburg, Andrew Rodenburg; and great-grandchild, Hazel Cook. Kathleen is also survived by her siblings Daniel J. Brown, Ellen Anne Slack and Jane Bauer; along with her cherished extended family and many beloved friends.
After a cross-country trip to Tucson, Ariz., with a friend, she decided that was where she needed to live. She moved there in 1957 by herself and soon met her future husband George. A job transfer moved the family to Richmond in 1971.
Kathleen grew up on Oakland Avenue and graduated from Waukesha High School in 1947; she attended her 60 year reunion in 2007. She often reminisced of her childhood and young adult life in Waukesha. During her high school years, she worked at Rode’s Drugstore and after high school, she went to work for Harvey Zilmer at Zilmer’s Office Supply. She recalled a picture of the Grand Tetons that hung on the wall near her desk at Zilmer’s and to this day, has a picture of the Tetons above her home office desk.
Kathleen returned to Waukesha dozens of times after moving away and always looked forward to visiting with lifelong friends from her youth, including her beloved group of friends, the “gay girls.” Her most recent trip to Waukesha was in August 2013 for the Brown family reunion.
Kathleen opened her door to many over the years, teaching us to be kind, considerate and provide shelter to others who found themselves in need of a place to call home. Family was very important and she kept up with all of her nieces, nephews and extended family. Volunteering was her passion, after raising her family, she worked for many years as the volunteer coordinator for the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, where she co-founded their Volunteer Council, and later at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
Kathleen was also instrumental in establishing and strengthening volunteer programs at Beaumont Learning Center, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Capital Area Agency on Aging, and St. Joseph Catholic Church.
She was very fond of Ireland and traveled there several times with George to visit relatives. If airline travel hadn’t become so aggravating to her she would have made several more trips.
Kathleen loved the Zac Brown Band and took road trips several times to see them in concert! She is the author of her family memoirs, “Cups Without Handles.”
Kathleen was beautiful, independent, incredibly funny and liked to be silly. We will miss her more than words can say; she was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and “Great!”
The family will receive friends Thursday, February 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 6:00 p.m. at the Huguenot Chapel, Woody Funeral Home, 1020 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, Va. A Requiem Mass will be held Friday, February 6, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 828 Buford Road, Richmond, Va. (reception to follow). Burial will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, Va.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond or the Little Sisters of the Poor, Henrico, Va.