Roanoke College

Roanoke student passes away suddenly

  • Roanoke student passes away suddenly

  • 07/03/10
  • Message from Chaplain Paul Henrickson:

    I am saddened to report that Roanoke College student Renee Rhodes passed away suddenly on Friday, July 2, at a local hospital. She entered the hospital with an unknown illness. The hospital is still trying to determine the cause. Renee was a rising senior and math major from Vinton, Va. She was at home with her family this summer.

    Renee was a member of the Maroons indoor and outdoor track and field teams. She was a critical competitor in the pole vault during ODAC championships. In 2009, she finished third at the indoor championship and fourth outdoors. As a freshman, she placed fourth indoors and second outdoors. She also was involved in Habitat for Humanity, the astronomy club and the equestrian club.

    Renee graduated from Staunton River High School in 2007.

    Roanoke College expresses our deepest condolences to Renee's family and friends. Please keep Renee and her family in your prayers.

    Update, July 4:
    Arrangements have been finalized for Renee's funeral:

    Monday, July 5, 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM
    Oakey's Vinton Chapel

    Tuesday, July 6, 2 PM
    Oakey's Vinton Chapel

    Oakey's Vinton Chapel
    627 Hardy Road
    Vinton, VA 24179
    (540) 982-2221

    Update, July 6:

    Friends of Renee's have established a fund to help with funeral costs and other expenses. Donations may be made paypal ( or at your local SunTrust Bank branch (account #1000111596697).

    Update, July 20:

    The Virginia Department of Health has reported that Renee Rhodes died of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacterium and is spread through person to person contact. It is not spread as easily as the common cold or influenza. The VDH has worked closely with those who may have had contact with Rhodes prior to her death. She was not living or working on campus at the time she became ill.

    For further information on meningitis, visit the Virginia Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control websites. (will include LINKS)

    For information on vaccines and the Roanoke College policy, visit the Student Health Services website.

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