Donald J. Rhodes

Memorial for Donald J. Rhodes

HOOPERS CREEK – Donald J. Rhodes, 83, of the Hoopers Creek community, died Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at his home following a lengthy battle with cancer.

He was born April 30, 1930, the son of Joseph Ossie Rhodes and Hattie Eliza Jane Rhodes. He was baptized in Bremerhaven, Germany, on Jan. 14, 1968. A native of Fletcher, N.C., he was a resident of Dale City, Va., from 1968 to 1985, when he moved to Henderson County.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1948 and graduated from basic training in San Diego. Following a tour of duty at Whidbey Island, Wash., he was transferred to the Commander Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, at USNS Astoria, Ore. He transferred to the Naval Recruiting Station on ONOP in Raleigh, N.C. until being discharged in June 1953. He re-enlisted in September 1954. He served in NSG assignments with RPMIO No. 1 aboard USS PIEDMONT (AD-17), USS AJAX (AR-6), USS DIXIE (AD-14), USS PRARIE (AD-15) in the Pacific area; National Security Agency, Washington, D.C.; TUSLOG DET 28, Karamursel, Turkey; NAVSECGRUHDQTRS, Washington, D.C.; NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany; and CNO (OP-009-G) Pentagon, retiring Sept. 19, 1969 at NAVSECGRUHDQTRS. He was promoted to chief petty officer in May 1963. His awards included the Korean Services Medal (1 bronze star), National Defense Service Medal (1 bronze star), United National Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (1 star) and Good Conduct Medal (4 bronze stars).

His post-retirement employment included the Naval Intelligence Support Center, CNO (OP-009U), the Naval Intelligence Operations Center and the State of North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Mr. Rhodes volunteered as a VFW service officer at the Asheville Medical Center. He served on the Henderson County (North Carolina) Color Guard Detail. He was past commander of American Legion Post 77, American Veterans Post 665, Disabled American Veterans Chapter No. 14 and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the Unlisted States Post 5206. Mr. Rhodes received an associate’s degree in general studies from Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge, Va.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Peggie Priest Rhodes, in October 2003. He is survived by his wife of two years, Lorraine Host Rhodes. He is survived by two sons: Christopher Donald Rhodes and his wife, Wendy, of Yadkinville, and Jeffrey Joseph Rhodes and his wife, Cari, of Fletcher; two daughters, Brenda Jane White and her husband, Paul, of Stafford, Va., and Michele Renee Clark of Cumming, Ga.; nine grandchildren: Joshua, Justin, Matthew, Megan, Evan, Emma, Nichole, Ashley and Brandon; and one sister, Freida Justus of Edneyville, N.C.

The funeral was held Saturday, Nov. 16 at Hoopers Creek Baptist Church with Rev. Phillip Youngblood, Rev. Michael McFarland and Rev. Dr. Mark Fitzsimmons officiating. The family received friends on Friday, Nov. 15 at the funeral home, Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society,, 1-800-227-2345; or the Wounded Warriors Project,, 1-855-448-3997.