Top News

Rhoda Backman - Stephens

Rhoda Oleta Backman-Stephens peacefully passed away in her sleep at her home on October 14th, 2017 after celebrating her 89th birthday with family and friends. Rhoda was born on October 13th, 1928 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. She was the only
Rhoda Oleta Backman-Stephens peacefully passed away in her sleep at her home on October 14th, 2017 after celebrating her 89th birthday with family and friends. Rhoda was born on October 13th, 1928 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. She was the only child of Oleta (Pierce) and Stanley Backman. At 16, she suffered severe third degree burns from her head to knees. Dr Wickwire and the Kiwanis club in Liverpool interceded to get her admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Que. and under the urgent care of a plastic surgeon. Rhoda endured 49 surgeries over a 5 year period for skin grafts to replace the loss of part of her face, chest and top of both hands. Only 2 days after being discharged from her 5 year hospital stay, she acquired a job in the Advertising department at the headquarters of a Fortune 100 International Conglomerate in Montreal, Que. She interviewed with bandages still on her face. The HR manager hired her for her intelligence, courage and tenacity. Rhoda took classes at Sir George Williams University and was promoted to an Advertising Dept. Manager. She worked there for many years until her marriage to Herbert Stephens, an Electrical Engineer from Vancouver, British Columbia. They moved to southern California for her husband’s career in the aerospace industry. They later moved to Cape Kennedy Space Center area in Florida where her husband worked as an Engineering Manager in the NASA / Boeing Moon Launch team for many Moon Launches. Rhoda experienced the Apollo 8 moon launch on site at the VIP viewing section. Rhoda loved the sunny weather, beaches and warm people in Florida. She spent the years there raising their 3 children, acquiring many dear friends and being very involved in the community. She was a Certified Red Cross Instructor and Cub Scout Leader. They then moved to Washington state for her husband’s career. After her children were grown, Rhoda graduated from Bellevue College with a degree in Interior Design and worked as a Certified Medical Secretary at a local hospital. During her retirement, she also studied Geology at University of Washington. Rhoda enjoyed traveling all over the world including Russia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and the Caribbean. She was a talented writer and artist, photographer, bowler, gardener, golfer, life-long learner. Rhoda will always be remembered for her quick wit, intellect, stories, sense of humor, caring, honesty, integrity, courage, tenacity, being a good sport and zest for life. Rhoda is survived by her 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. In Lieu of flowers, send memorial donations to Kiwanis Club of Liverpool, 902-354-7474

Click here to order flowers, make a donation or leave a condolence.

Recent Stories