Ms. Lottie Grant Rhodes or ”Ma,” as she was affectionately known by all, made her transition on Monday October 24.
Ms. Rhodes was a lifelong Bed-Stuy resident and a longtime volunteer (48 years) at PS 305, where she was known as the “Village Mother.”
Ms. Rhodes was born on July 4, 1936, at Greenpoint Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, the fourth of seven children to Carl and Carrie Grant who preceded her in death.
Ms. Rhodes attended public schools PS 44 and JHS 35 and Eastern District High School.
On Nov 26, 1955, she married Mr. Richard Rhodes and had three beautiful children, Craig, Tisha and Vance. Due to a blessing in disguise, she came to care for another child, her daughter Carla Grant, whom she loved and nurtured up until her untimely death in 1999.
She was fortunate enough to reap the benefits and blessings of two families, her biological family as well as her P.S. 305 family. And in both extended family networks, she formed the nucleus, served as its heart and functioned as its soul.
Ms. Lottie Rhodes's relationship with P.S. 305 began in 1962, when it opened as a new elementary school and she accompanied her niece Adrienne Harris-Page through its doors.
Beginning that day, an unrivaled dedication to the school and its students was born, growing into nearly five decades of service. As a school volunteer, she wore many hats: PTA member, Door Monitor, Security Guard, Breakfast and Lunch Lady, PS 305 Historian and last but not least, Village Mother.
She made it to the building 182 days a year, through rain, sleet, hail and snow before most of the staff. She has left an indelible impression over the years on all of the school's children, parents and staff. Her service to the school ended in June 2011 when she became ill over the summer and was unable to return to her post the following September.
On Oct 24, 2011, “Ma” answered her call and departed this life for a better state of being.
She showed love to all of those whose lives she touched. She treated everyone like they were her own children.
“Ma” has left a legacy, which includes three children Craig, Tisha and Vance, seven grandchildren- Tanzania, Kendall, Devante, Vantaisia, Vance Jr., Kaelin and Lathan, one brother, Leonard Ayers and one sister, Earlee Grant Harris, countless nieces and nephews and a host of extended family members, including her beloved PS 305 family.
Ms. Lottie Grant Rhodes will be sorely missed.