Janet Rhoads

December 26, 1936 ~ August 19, 2021 (age 84)


It is with a very sad heart we share that Janet (Jan) Rhoads passed away peacefully at home on August 19, 2021. She was 84 years old. Janet was born on December 26, 1936, to Alice and Leon Mest, Sr., in Boyertown, PA. Janet attended Washington Elementary School and graduated in 1954 from Boyertown High School. In 1959 she made the journey to California and eventually settled in Oxnard with her family, husband Melvin, and children, Lori and twins, Adam and Jill.

Janet was very devoted to her family. Her hobbies were sewing, needlepoint and teaching us about Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. She was a member of the Friends of the Library in Oxnard and helped plan the excursions they all enjoyed. She loved attending the plays at the Rubicon Theater.

The rest of her time was spent dedicated to the Oxnard School District and the California School Employees Assn. She started in the Oxnard School District in 1966. Over the course of her 26 year employment, she earned many prestigious awards. As Superintendent Brekke mentioned in his letter nominating her "CSEA Employee of the Year, "Mrs. Rhoads has been involved in a host of district-level committees which are literally too numerous to recount." Some of her most prominent committees were: Chairperson of the Resolution Committee; Chairperson of the State Insurance Committee; CSEA President; President, Treasurer, Job Steward and Representative of the Negotiations Committee; Asst. Regional Representative and Regional Secretary and Representative for CSEA Region 8; served many years on the Insurance and Constitution and Bylaws Committees; President of Retiree Council.

Her many awards include: 1996/97 Oxnard School District Classified Employee of the Year; 1986 Recipient of the Odie Wells Humanitarian Award; 1991 Named and honored as one of five State Employees of the Year at CSEA Annual Conference; 2008 CSEA "Unsung Hero of CSEA" Retiree Unit; 2017 Distinguished Personnel Commissioner Award and CSEA Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service. She received in 2012 the coveted "CSEA Life Membership" Award.

Janet is survived by her husband of 61 years, Melvin, and two daughters, Lori Firman (Graham) and Jill (Aanjelae) Rhoads. She is also survived by her brother, Leon Mest, Jr. (Carole), and sisters, Gail Longacre (Dan) and Florence Smith (Bill). She has 5 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son Adam and her brother William. We would have been lost without the compassion and attention of our caregiver, Carolina.

Per our parent's request, there will be no funeral service. We will hold Jan's ashes near to our hearts until Mel is ready to join her. They will then be buried together at sea. We will miss her greatly.

Janet has been entrusted to the care of the family owned and operated Reardon Funeral Home, 511 North A St. Oxnard,

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