Joanne D. Thomas-Rodefer
October 9, 1934 ~ June 16, 2018
Joanne D. Thomas-Rodefer was born on October 9, 1934 in Pendleton, Oregon. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ called her home on June 16, 2018. She moved to the Portland, Oregon area during WWII, when her father was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the movement of the troop trains for the Union Pacific railroad. She later attended Gresham Union High School in Oregon where she played clarinet in the band. Following her high school graduation in 1952, she entered the Multnomah Business College where she earned her degree and became a member of the faculty teaching classes in typing and short hand. In 1955, she joined the FBI’s Portland, Oregon office as a legal secretary. During her tenure with the FBI, she provided administrative support to many including then U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy when he was in town. After leaving the FBI in 1962, she moved to Santa Fe and then to Hobbs, New Mexico, and, thereafter, Fayetteville, North Carolina and briefly to Las Vegas and then onto Reno, Nevada in July 1967 and eventually settling in Carson City in January 1970.
Joanne became active in the local community through, among other charitable endeavors, her involvement in Little League, Babe Ruth and serving as the President of Carson City Pop Warner, as well as Camp Fire Girls and Carson High School’s Rodeo Team. Following the loss of the family home to fire on December 23, 1971, Joanne took it upon herself to walk the neighborhoods seeking signatures for the construction of Fire Stations 2 and 3 to more adequately cover the northern and southern parts of Carson City and the former Ormsby County area.
Always the eternal optimist, Joanne could find joy in almost every aspect of her life from her flower garden, to cooking, to spending time with family and dear friends, to meeting new people, to rooting for the Nevada Wolf Pack with her kids and attending games when she could, to watching sports, to traveling around the surrounding area, to indulging her sweet tooth—but her greatest joy was being a mom. Her love, devotion and sacrifice for the family was unwavering. She was always present with a kind word, a welcoming smile or a simple “I love you.” She was a blessing to her family and those who were fortunate to meet her.
Her parents, David W. Thomas and Pauline D. Guyer-Thomas preceded Joanne. She is survived by her children, Jeffrey R. Rodefer (of Las Vegas and Carson City) and Terri A. Rodefer (of Carson City).
Over the past decade, Joanne was lovingly cared for by Jeff and Terri. She was always thankful for the many blessings she received in life but, her greatest blessing, as she liked to say, were her kids. Although extremely heartbroken over the loss of their mother, Jeff and Terri are very grateful for the assistance, kindness and compassion shown by her many doctors, nurses and caregivers over the years.
A memorial service for Joanne will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, 2018 at the Skyline Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Please visit Joanne’s online memorial and guestbook at http://www.skylinememorialgardens.com.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held later in the Carson City, Nevada area for those unable to travel to Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s by making a contribution in Joanne’s name at http://www.michaeljfox.org/tribute (and search for Joanne’s name).