Cover photo for Lawanda Rhoades's Obituary
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1942 Lawanda 2023

Lawanda Rhoades

September 23, 1942 — May 15, 2023

Nowata, Oklahoma

LaWanda Yola Rhoades, 80, passed from this life into eternal rest at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the early morning hours of May 15, 2023. LaWanda was born in Jay, Oklahoma, on September 23, 1942, to Fred Ellis Cunningham and Helen Virginia (Carey) Cunningham.

LaWanda has lived in the Nowata area her entire lifetime. She worked at Magna Health Care, working as a health care coordinator for several years before retiring in 2019. In her free time, LaWanda enjoyed sewing and making quilts. She also enjoyed being outdoors and feeding her chickens. Family was a top priority for LaWanda, and she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. LaWanda will be missed by everyone who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Fred and Helen Cunningham, her husband: Emery Rhoades Jr.; her children: Cecelia Rhoades, Kenneth Rhoades, Kathy Rhoades, and Terry Rhoades; and her great granddaughter: Kenzley.

Those left to cherish the memory of a wonderful woman include her children: Dede Kerns, Carl Rhoades, Russell Rhoades, Liz Rhoades, Elaine Rhoades, Sally Ann Rhoades, and Charlie Rhoades; her grandchildren: Russell, Kevin, Katelyn, Karleigh, Jacob, Gregory, and Nikolas, her great-grandchildren, Leilani, Kamdyn, and Kaisley; her siblings: Bob Cunningham, Leonard Cunningham, Anita Kay McKee, Virginia Sue Scharosch, Linda Schell, Carolyn Faye Stanart, Debra Lynn Deathridge, along with other family members and many friends.

A visitation for friends and family will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2023, from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Benjamin Funeral Service Chapel. A graveside funeral service will be held on Monday, May 22, 2023, at 2:00 PM at the Ball Cemetery in Childers, OK, with Colin Kirk officiating. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the caring staff of Benjamin Funeral Service. Online condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lawanda Rhoades, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, May 21, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Benjamin Funeral Services

114 W Cherokee Ave, Nowata, OK 74048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Monday, May 22, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Ball Cemetery

, OK 74048

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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