Rhoades, Bob 2

Robert “Bob” Rhoades

Funeral services for Robert “Bob” Rhoades, 91, of Jefferson will be held at 10:30 am Wednesday at the Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson with burial in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Tuesday at the funeral home with an Elks Memorial Service held at 6:30 PM.

Cards or memorials given to honor Bob may be sent to his daughter, Theresa Ritland, 216 North Riverside Drive, Ames, Iowa 50010. The family is supporting scholarships through the Elks National Foundation and the Dr. Joe Rhoades Cancer Compassion Fund.

Robert Eugene Rhoades was born February 12, 1927, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, son of William Clifford and Martha Kelley Rhoades and grew up in Jefferson with a family of three sisters and one brother. After graduating from Jefferson High School, he enlisted in the Air Corps and served two and a half years during World War II as a Radiosonde Operator in the 11th Weather Squadron stationed on Shemya Island (part of the Aleutian Islands), gathering data from weather balloons. He served honorably as one of the Greatest Generation.

In 1947, as Bob returned from the military he met the love of his life, Rita Minnihan, on the dance floor at a youth center in Jefferson. They married November 12, 1949, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jefferson, beginning their 67 years of marriage. Bob and Rita were blessed with four sons and two daughters. Family tent camping trips with six young children was quite an endeavor, but provided enduring stories and memories. His hard work ethic was admirable as he made many sacrifices to raise a family of six and send them all to college. He was incredibly proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren, enjoying their varied personalities and interests. Family life encompassed their lives, but Bob also found time for community involvement with the Elks Lodge in Jefferson as a Charter Member, Greene County Community Theater as a set builder, and countless remodeling projects for friends and family. He loved music, especially the big band sounds and was known for his excellent bass voice, spontaneously breaking out into song at unexpected times. Dancing was an integral part of Bob and Rita’s social life including Saturday night dances at the Elks Lodge. Under a gruff exterior was a man with a very caring heart who had an affectionate way of finding nicknames for family and friends.

Bob has been a lifelong Jefferson businessman as owner of Rhoades Plumbing & Heating for over 30 years. After retirement he transitioned to his real passion of woodworking. While growing up he was always building things with whatever he could find and dreamed of having his own wood shop some day. Bob and Rita established a furniture refinishing business and he built a woodworking shop in his garage. This provided innumerable hours making intricate wooden décor for family and friends. One of the greatest joys was the memorable Central Iowa Honor Flight to Washington, DC in August 2010 with his sons. In November 2013 Bob and Rita made their home at The Gardens Assisted Living. Bob passed away on March 2, 2018, at Greene County Medical Center. The family is indebted to the compassionate care given to Bob and Rita by staff at The Gardens Assisted Living, McFarland Clinic, Greene County Medical Center ER and Acute Care, Long Term Care, and St. Croix Hospice, while navigating this journey with us.

Those who mourn his passing are son Michael (Mona) Rhoades of The Villages, Florida; daughter-in-law Kathy Rhoades of Des Moines, son Jerry (Kathy) Rhoades of Alameda, California; daughter Theresa Ritland of Ames, daughter Linda (Kirk) Setzer of Amana, and son Patrick (Jane) Rhoades of Des Moines, nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren, a sister Peggy Dunne of Jefferson, a brother-in-law Jerry Minnihan of St. Louis, Missouri. Preceding him in death was his wife, Rita, his parents, sisters Barbara Rose and Helen Joyce Kinsman, brother Joseph William Rhoades and his son Joseph L. Rhoades, MD.

Visitation will be held on March 6, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson, with an Elks Memorial Service at 6:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at Brown Funeral Home in Jefferson, Iowa, with Msgr. Kevin McCoy officiating. Interment is at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson.

Serving as casket bearers are Kirk Setzer, David Dunne, Bill Dunne, Bob Stream, Kevin Rhoades and Jeff Eaton.

Serving as Honorary casket bearers (grandchildren) are Monica Rhoades, Sarah Casados, Melanie Sheafer, Laura Samnadda, Christian Setzer, Seth Rhoades, Rachael Rhoades, Lynette Ritland Bond and Lindsey Ritland Ante.

Cards or memorials given to honor Bob may be sent to his daughter, Theresa Ritland, 216 North Riverside Drive, Ames, Iowa 50010. The family is supporting scholarships through the Elks National Foundation and the Dr. Joe Rhoades Cancer Compassion Fund.

7 thoughts on “Robert “Bob” Rhoades

  1. Bob & Becci McGowen

    .We simply can not express the sympathy we feel. We now have lost all four of our parents and we know it certainly doesn’t get easier. My heart just aches for all of you.

    We will see you Tuesday

  2. Brad and Carol Zuber Family

    Dear Rhoades Family,
    We are sending our prayers to you all as you celebrate the life of your dad. He cherished each of you and was proud of the lives you lead. It is with regret that we are unable to attend the memorial service, but know we will be with your family in spirit.
    Cherish the fond memories…
    The Lord’s blessings to you all.
    Brad and Carol Zuber family
    Mark and Maria Madden
    Harry Zuber and Deana Hero

  3. Ginny Showman

    Dear Rhoades Family,
    I had the extreme pleasure to get to know Bob during my short time here at The Gardens. We enjoyed several long visits, and I learned so much about your family, his love for you all, and of course his endearing love for Rita. His joy and pride of all your accomplishments was so very apparent. He shared stories of his time in the war, growing up in Jefferson, and raising their big family. I feel so privileged to have been able to hear his history. His dear friend Bob Owens and he told funny and touching stories of their lifelong friendship. We also enjoyed some of the same music, and I was thrilled to sing with him a few times. He was a delightful and caring man.

    I am very sorry for your loss, and grateful I was honored to spend what little time I had with him. We will miss him here. You are in our thoughts.

    Ginny Showman

  4. Greg Fort

    Mike & Mona,

    So sorry for your loss! I read about your father in the online obituary. Sounds like he was a fun and interesting guy. My thoughts and prays are with you and your family. Hope to see you soon buddy!


  5. Max Brubaker

    Mike and Mona,
    You and your family are in our prayers. If there’s anything
    We can do please let us know.

    Max & Jenny

  6. Steve and Jackie Walker

    We were fortunate to talk with Bob on the phone a couple of days before he fell and broke his hip. Bob Rhoades will be missed. He and Rita were the best man and bridesmaid at our wedding over 25 years ago. They have remained in our hearts ever since then and will reside forever in our memories. We have some of his woodcraft art to remind us of their visits here in Arizona. It was always a treat for us to visit them in Jefferson.

  7. Holly Namanny

    What a great guy! I am so glad he will be reunited with his love, Rita.

    Prayers for peace in the days ahead.

    Much love and hugs your way.
    Holly Namanny

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