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Virginia "Little" Armistead Rohde

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Published: January 31, 2013

Virginia "Little" Armistead Rohde of Syracuse, New York, passed away on January 16, 2013. Virginia was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 20, 1940. She attended Central High School and then the University of Georgia at Athens, where she studied landscape architecture. In college, she met and married Robert W. Rohde. They were married for 16 years and lived in Little Rock, Arkansas and then Syracuse, N.Y. Virginia worked as a fundraiser for various non-profit organizations, including the Easter Seals Society, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Arkansas AIDS Foundation. Her ability to convey the worthiness of a cause and to inspire others to work for those causes made her an effective and infectious champion of people. Her life and her work are a testament to her belief in every person's right to love and be loved. Whether friends, family, or strangers she just met, Virginia always opened her home and heart without judgment and with unconditional acceptance. In fact, these open arms made her a mother figure to many of the "children of Hampton Road."

Virginia enjoyed a great meal, contemporary crafts, and the good company of friends and family. For years, she traveled to auctions and barn sales, a pastime she learned from and enjoyed with her mother. Her oriental rugs and antique treasures fill her children's homes. But the most important legacy Virginia leaves her children is this ÔÇö love always wins. Virginia instilled her unique spirit, her willingness to champion those less fortunate, and her unconditional love in her children, all of whom work as teachers. Despite her failing health and many hospitalizations, Virginia's spirit shined through until her passing.

Virginia is survived by her three children: John Rohde, Elizabeth (Anthony) Carbone, and Mary Lynn (Stephen) Mahan, and her three grandchildren, Sadie Grace and Riley Virginia Mahan and Benjamin Rohde Carbone. She also is survived by her nephew, Armistead (Noel) Reasoner of Virginia. Virginia is preceded in death by Virginia Armistead, Martha Campbell, Eleanor and Houck Reasoner and her beloved niece, Caroline. She also was preceded by her loving partner of many years, Marvin "Mac" McDonald.

Both visitation and the funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 2, at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral on the corner of Fayette and Montgomery streets. Visitation will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Brewster Room, and funeral services will follow at 11:30 in the main cathedral. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Friends of Dorothy House, 212 Wayne Street, Syracuse, N.Y. 13203. If you wish to send a note of condolence please visit

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