HILLSDALE — Lyla J. Rodgers, 74, of Hillsdale, passed away peacefully at home Saturday morning, Feb. 8, 2014, after a courageous two-year battle with lymphoma. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and community.
Lyla was born May 4, 1939, in Traverse City. She grew up on a farm on the Old Mission Peninsula, where she spent many summers helping in the orchards with her father, Albert and mother, Helen, as well as her siblings, Stan, Maxine and Joyce.
Lyla attended Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, where she met her husband, Norm. The couple married Sept. 19, 1958. They then went on to attend Michigan State University, where Lyla was accepted into the Honors College of MSU.
After college Lyla and Norm settled in the Detroit area where both children, Rick and Noelle, were born.
She taught in the Detroit public school system and forged lifelong friendships through her church and community that she treasured.
In 1973 the family moved to Cadillac in northern Michigan, where she enjoyed activities in the community, such as the Cadillac Philharmonic Club, playing tennis and skiing. She also started a part-time career in Mary Kay Cosmetics and became a sales director.
In 1983 Lyla and Norm moved to Hillsdale. With her love of music, Lyla soon became a member of the Hillsdale Arts Chorale. She loved being a part of the chorale and continued to contribute her beautiful soprano voice for over 20 years. She also joined the chorale on a special trip to England in the spring of 2000. The group traveled to London and Wales and shared their music wherever they went. She also was an active member of the Hillsdale Garden Club, the Hillsdale Women’s Club and was a member of the board of the Women Commissioners of Hillsdale College.
While in Hillsdale she also sold residential real estate and then went on to start a career in antiques. She loved going to auctions, estate sales and garage sales to hunt for hidden treasure or a great find. She set up shop at Greentop in Allen and loved selling her antiques as much as finding them. She also was the chairperson for the antiques department for the annual Hillsdale College Rummage Sale.