2013-03-21 / Obituaries

Harold R. “Ike” Rhodes


Harold R. “Ike” Rhodes, 87, a Houstonian from Lexington, Texas, a loving husband and family man, Air Force retiree, and Rice University’s first Chief of Police, died on March 13, 2013. He lived a vibrantly healthy life until succumbing in his last year to the effects of myelo fibrosis and prostate cancer.

A funeral service was held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 306 E. 15th St., Houston, Texas, followed by a reception. An Interment Service with full Airforce Military Honors was held on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Hugh Wilson Cemetery in Tanglewood, Texas, followed by a reception at the Old Parish Hall at St. James Lutheran Church in Lexington. Please check www.heightsfuneralhome.com for a full historical biography.

Ike was preceded in death by his parents Hugh and Effie Rhodes, his brother Joe Rhodes and wife Lois, his brother Jack Rhodes and wife Seita, his nieces Shirley Rhodes and Margie Baker Thompson, his parents-in-law Carl and Alma Patschke, his brothersand sisters-in-law: Elsie Jackowski Zoch and Alvin Zoch, Irene and Bill Miller, Ella Behrend, Alfred Patschke, and Wilbur "Sonny" and Jerry Patschke, and nephew Billy Miller. He was also preceded in death by many dear aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends. Ike is survived by his wife, Lorna Patschke Rhodes; his daughters, Diane Elise Rhodes, Rhonda Marie Rhodes, and Valencia Joy Rhodes Atchison; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In Diane's family: children Willie Wells, wife Kristen, and daughter Kallista; Jessica Wells Bertrand and children Angelica, Lilliana, Brandon, Sebastian, and Joseph; Dianna Wells; and Melissa Wells. In Rhonda's family: husband John Wile and children Douglas Wile and Rachel Wile. In Valencia's family: children Logan Atchison and Ronnie Colonna. Ike is also survived by his brother and best friend Sterling Baker and wife Doris and their family; his Rhodes nieces and nephews JoNell Norville, Jeff Rhodes and wife Jane, Bill Rhodes and wife Jean, Seita R. Coleman, Leslie Rhodes, Lou Marie Leslie, and Sterlene Donohue.

Ike was born in Possom Hollow, near Lexington, Texas, the youngest of what was originally three brothers: Joe, Jack, and then Ike. His father was a farmer and rancher but also an oil field worker, so some of Ike's childhood years were spent wherever the work took them, such as Wink, Texas and Hobbs, New Mexico. When Ike was in high school, he was graced with another brother, Sterling Baker, a youth close to his age who came to live with them and who remained his best friend throughout Ike's life. In May 1943 at age seventeen, Ike graduated from Lexington High School. He passed the Aviation Cadet exam and then, on January 7, 1944- shortly after he turned eighteenreported to active duty in the Army Air Corps Reserve. Thus began his twenty-year career in what soon became the U.S. Air Force.

Ike enjoyed a life highlighted by weekends and vacations in Possum Holler and Lexington, Texas. He loved fishing, camping, traveling, working outdoors on his acreage, and sitting on the front porch. He was keenly interested in family history, and researched the Rhodes family back many generations. He was philosophical, nonjudgmental, steady, kind, and good-humored. He was a good man, a very good man, loved by many, inspired by even more.

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