Barbara Ann Nichols Rhoads
Balsam — Barbara Ann Nichols Rhoads died Wednesday, Sept. 11 in MedWest Harris after a prolonged illness. A longtime resident of Balsam, Barbara was a beloved “local” who danced at the community building, hayed the hay field and hiked to the cabins, instilling her love for the outdoors in her children. Barbara had a lifelong love of animals, all things blooming and summer finches at the feeder. She enjoyed all the traditions associated with mountain life as her people were settled in this area since the early 1800s. Barbara worked for years as a floral designer at Colonial Florist where she made lifelong friends with many of her customers who relied on her skills to commemorate both good times and bad.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Lou Owen Nichols and Jack Thomas Nichols, Sr.; and her former husband Fredrick Lowell Rhoads, Jr. She is survived by her beloved dog Ena; son Lowell Rhoads and his wife Teresa Wilkey of Balsam; daughters Debra Ann Knight and her husband Mike Burke of Indianapolis, Indiana, Beverly Kathleen Rhoads and her wife Claire Elizabeth Deal of Farmville, Virginia, Nancy Jacqueline Warren and her husband Gregory Kent Warren of Balsam; brother Jack Thomas Nichols, Jr. of Waynesville; lifelong friend David Tyree of Waynesville; grandchildren Zachary Lowell Knight, Marissa Early and Aaron Reid Warren; great-grandson Maddox “Hush Baby” Howell; sister-in-law Mary Brookshire and her husband Emmett; brother-in-law Robert C. Rhoads Sr. and his wife Velma; nephews Bobby Rhoads, Emory Rhoads, Richard Brookshire and Keith Brookshire; niece Cheri Brookshire; and all of her extended family and dear, dear friends.
In memory of Barbara, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the local Humane Society. A gathering for friends and family will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Way House, 123 South Main St., Waynesville. Garrett Funerals and Cremations is caring for the family. www.garrettfuneralsandcremations.com.