BROOKFIELD- Rhoda May Josephson, went to be with her Lord on September 26, 2020. She was born at home in Holden, MA on November 30, 1916, the only daughter of John Philip Fales and Mary Esther (Whitman) Fales. It is very difficult for our family to summarize the life of one so loved and such a well-lived life, but we will attempt it here.
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Since September 2015, she was the proud holder of the Boston Post Cane in recognition for being Brookfield’s oldest resident. In 2001 she moved back to the area from her home in St. Augustine, Florida and made her home in Brookfield. She attended both the Brookfield Congregational Church and the Quaboag Valley Baptist Church, both in Brookfield, MA.
After her 100th birthday, Mom moved from her Brookfield home to Assisted Living in Webster, then on to West Brookfield to Quaboag Rehabilitation and Nursing Home where she was living under the able care of Quaboag and Compassus Hospice when she passed.
During her 25 year residency of Florida, she was a member of the Moultrie Baptist Church in St. Augustine and a member and leader of the local Audubon Club.
When she was 10 years old, Rhoda moved to Charlton with her parents and her two younger brothers. Their farm was on what is now Prenier Road which also was once the home of William Thomas Green Morton who first publicly demonstrated the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. She rode the trolley to school and graduated from the Charlton High School. Thereafter, she worked as a telephone operator with a 6-line switchboard.
When attending church at the Dodge Chapel in Charlton, she shared a hymn book with Alfred Cooper, Jr. who was from Rochdale at the time. That was the beginning of a long and happy marriage. She and “Al” had one daughter and five sons. After her marriage to Al Cooper, Jr. and until her first child was born, she worked at American Optical in Southbridge and then part-time as a waitress at the Little Valley Farm, which was then a restaurant on Northside Road in Charlton.
During the years that she was raising her family, Rhoda was a member of the Federated Church and the Helping Hands Society both in Charlton. To help make ends meet, she grew a garden and canned the produce; she made her own butter and jellies. She found time to raise German Shepherds, ride her horse, to mend the boys’ jeans, make rugs for the family home, play her organ and even to do some oil painting!
She is survived by her daughter Jean Clarkson of St. Augustine, Florida; and four of her five sons Thomas (Donna Neylon) of Charlton; John (Carol) of Brimfield; Alfred IV (Suzan) of Millinocket, ME; Stephen (Dimity) of Brookfield, MA and daughter-in-law Cindy of Charlton, MA.
Rhoda’s first husband, Al, died in Charlton in 1972 and her second husband, Einar Josephson (a native of North Brookfield, MA), died in St. Augustine in 1995. Her youngest son, Peter, son-in-law, Ralph Clarkson, two brothers Philip and Sidney Fales, their wives (Cynthia & Dorothy), two granddaughters (Debra Clarkson Maguire and Virginia Cooper), a niece (Caroline), a daughter-in-law (Janice) and dear cousin Marjorie all pre-decease her.
She also leaves 20 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren, one stepson, Don Josephson of North Brookfield and his extended family; a nephew, Robert (Deanna) Fales and his family in California, two nieces in Massachusetts, Wendy (Ron) Sasseville and Sharon (David) Bond and one niece in Connecticut, Tammy (Donny) Piche and their families.
Arrangements are being handled by Pillsbury Funeral Home, 3 West Brookfield Rd, (Route 9) Brookfield, and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made to the Spirit Lifter’s Fund, in care of the Brookfield Congregational Church, 2 Central Street, Brookfield, MA 01506, the Brookfield Emergency Squad, 4 Central Street, Brookfield, MA 01506 or to the charity of your choice. Please visit pillsburyfuneralhome.com to express condolences.