Rhoda Louise Heinecke was born 29 Apr 1934 in Belknap Twp., Michigan, the youngest of seven children born to Rev. and Mrs. (Agnes) Louis G. Heinecke. She was a dark-haired beauty, known for a ready smile and friendly nature.
Rhoda attended Valparaiso University in Indiana, from which she received a B.A. in 1956 with a double major in Geography and History and a minor in English. She then went on to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, receiving her M.A. with honors in 1957 in the field of Geography.
Her first job was as Assistant to the Editor of the Geographical Review, a publication of the American Geographical Society in New York City. It was there that she met her future husband, William D. Pattison II. Upon their marriage in 1961, she followed him to Los Angeles, where she worked first for the High School Geography Project of the Association of American Geographers, then as Technical Editor and finally Chief Editor of the Publications Department of the Planning Research Corporation.
After moving to Chicago in 1966, Rhoda worked intermittently as a proofreader and editor, but her main job became being a mother to her two children: Margaret Constance, born in 1969, and William David III, born in 1972. It was them that she was most proud of and most wanted to be remembered for.
In the mid-1970's she was stricken with multiple sclerosis (MS), which colored her life for the remainder of her years. Rhoda moved to Valparaiso, Indiana in 1987 to live next door to her older and closest sister, Elyse Reynolds. Rhoda was a devout Lutheran her entire life, and found great solace and strength from her faith and her church. She died in 1994 in Crown Point, Indiana, at the age of 60, a victim of ovarian cancer. Her ashes are buried in the Memorial Garden of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, Indiana.