Kitty Rhoades

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Kitty Rhoades
Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
In office
February 22, 2013 – June 18, 2016
GovernorScott Walker
Preceded byDennis Smith
Succeeded byLinda Seemeyer
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 30th district
In office
Personal details
Kitty Richie

April 7, 1951
Hudson, Wisconsin, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2016 (aged 64)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–River Falls (BA)
Illinois State University (MEd)

Kitty Rhoades (née Richie) (April 7, 1951 – June 18, 2016) was an American politician. She served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, where she represented the 30th district, before serving as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Hudson, Wisconsin, Rhoades received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and a master's degree in education from Illinois State University.


Rhoades worked as an educator, small business owner, and consultant. In 1998, she was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Republican.[1]

In the 1990s, Rhoades proposed the term Winnesota to describe Wisconsin's St. Croix and Pierce Counties, which border Minnesota and are within the U.S. Census Bureau's Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area. According to Rhoades, "I still call my area Winnesota. We are in Wisconsin, but it sure is hard to remember it."[2]

Rhoades retired from the state Assembly in 2010,[3] and took a position with the administration of then-Governor Scott Walker in 2011 as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health Services.[4] In February 2013, following the resignation of Dennis Smith, she was appointed Secretary.[5][6]


Rhoades died on June 18, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin from pneumonia.[7][8]


  1. ^ Wisconsin Blue Book 2007-2008, Biographical Sketch of Kitty Rhoades, p. 39.
  2. ^ Bill Glauber (February 18, 2006). "Welcome to Minnesota: Twin Cities workers find comforts of home in St. Croix, Wisconsin's fastest-growing county". The Milwaukee Journal. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  3. ^ Rhoades Retires From Wisconsin Assembly Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Health Services Announces New Leadership Team". Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  5. ^ Andy Rathburn, "Gov. Walker appoints Kitty Rhoades to top Wisconsin health post". St. Paul Pioneer Press. February 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Kitty Rhoades appointed secretary of the Department of Health Services". RiverTowns. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  7. ^ Wisconsin health services secretary Kitty Rhoades dies at 65
  8. ^ Kitty (Richie) Rhoades-obituary

External links[edit]