Mary Ann Rhodes
One of Brookline's Golden Eaglets

Mary Ann Rhodes

Mary Ann Rhodes was born in Pittsburgh on August 10, 1918 to Edmund Oliver and Anna Seyler Rhodes. A younger brother, Carl, followed in November 1920. Edmund, a chemist for the Koppers Company, soon moved the family to a new home at 1323 Berkshire Avenue in Brookline.

Resurrection Class of 1932.
The Resurrection Class of 1932. Roy Ruane is in the top row, third from the right.

While at Resurrection School, Mary became very active in Girl Scout Troop #1 and on May 14, 1936 earned the rank of Golden Eaglet, one of three in the troop at the time. The troop also included her cousin, Ruth Mullen, another exceptional Brookline lady. Mary was a leader at many national encampments, and in the summer of 1937 was invited to the first GSUS International Encampment in New York, where she met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Here are some newspaper articles showing Mary Ann as a member of the Girl Scouts:

Mary Ann Rhodes
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 14, 1936.

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Mary Ann Rhodes
Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph - July 18, 1937.

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Mary Ann Rhodes
Pittsburgh Press - August 12, 1937.

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Mary went to Mount Lebanon High School and graduated from Penn State University in 1940. She went on to earn a master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

For a short time, Ms. Rhodes taught health and physical education at Mount Lebanon High, then at the University of Florida, where she met Air Force Lt. Gregory J. Hobbs. They married on August 18, 1943. During her twenty-three career as an Air Force wife, Mary lived in Panama, Virginia, Alaska, California and Texas and raised five children: Gregory James Jr, Edmund Rhodes, William Carl, Barbara Ann, and Joseph John.

After Colonel Hobbs retired in 1966, Mary embarked on a career as real estate broker. She was widowed 1984 and, two years later, married Richard Franklin Frakes of San Rafael.

Mary was devoted to family and faith. She had a special relationship with the Blessed Virgin, making pilgrimages to Guadalupe, Fatima, and Medjugorje. She was generous, supporting numerous causes, and lived each day to the fullest. Eternally optimistic, in troubled times she often said "Everything works out the way it is supposed to. The Good Lord and the Blessed Mother will take care of it." Strong-willed, with a quick wit and a good sense of humor, Mary lived and led by example.

Mary was also a tireless and eager adventurer, even into her 90s. She travelled to India, Iran, and Thailand. Mary journeyed on some of the world's great rivers, including the Amazon, Nile, Zambezi, and Colorado, and climbed Mt. Sinai and Mt. Kenya. She enjoyed introducing her children to the world's natural and cultural wonders, including the wilderness areas of the Galapagos and Alaska, the antiquities of Egypt and Ethiopia, the savanna of Zimbabwe, and Jordan's rose-red Nabatean city of Petra. She made friends everywhere.

Mary Ann Rhodes

Brookline's Golden Eaglet, Mary Ann Rhodes (Hobbs-Frakes) passed away on August 4, 2017, just days shy of her 99th birthday. Thanks to her son, Edmund Hobbs and his cousin, Bill Mullen, for the class photo and information, much of which was copied from Mary's obituary in the San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times.

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