James Thayer Rhode, 84, of Bucyrus, died Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, in Bucyrus Community Hospital following a period of declining health.
Jim was born Feb. 28, 1928, in Sandusky, to Harold and Arlie (Seeley) Rhode, and was a 1945 graduate of Huron High School. While attending high school, Jim was an accomplished athlete playing on the basketball team, running track and was senior captain of the football team.
Jim was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army as a Master Sergeant with the 7th Infantry Regiment 3rd Division during the Korean War. Jim returned from the war on the Danish Medical Ship, Jutlandia, once a museum in Copenhagen, and then attended Cleveland Technical School to become a steamfitter. He consulted major building projects, including the Plum Brook Station/NASA, Davis Besse Nuclear Power Plant and Monroe Power Plant in Michigan. Jim continued learning, receiving his HVAC training and applying those skills working at Honeywell for 25 years before retiring in 1995.
Jim was a gentle and loving person who was generous toward others with his time and talents. He had a gift of being able to fix things that others could not. On May 16, 1953 he married Lila J. Miller and he put those talents to use by building the home where they raised their family until her death July 4, 1997. Jim also enjoyed those years with Lila and their children, traveling, fishing, boating and camping.
On June 12, 1999, Jim married Judy Blicke Howard and when not spending time with family or playing golf at the Bucyrus Country Club they could be found at their home in northern Ontario, Canada, entertaining friends and family. When the colder months arrived, they traveled to their condo in Delray Beach, Fla. While there, they enjoyed golfing together at Deerfield Country Club and also spent many evenings listening to the Palm Beach Pops.
Jim was an avid sports fan who enjoyed attending OSU football games as well as following his Browns, and he also loved watching sporting events on television when the opportunity arose.
Jim was a man of faith. He served on the board of trustees at the Huron Presbyterian Church and was an Elder at the Bucyrus Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 42; American Legion, Post 83; Moose Lodge 669; Elks Lodge 156; Deerfield Country Club and was a former member of the Bucyrus Golf Club. Jim served on the Planning and Zoning Board in Huron, and the Bucyrus Salvation Army Board.
In addition to his wife Judy, Jim is survived by three children, Timothy (Eva) Rhode, Jean Cole, and Tracey (Cary) Roy; step-children, Julie (Harmon) Guss, Jeffrey Howard and fiancée Katie Elmore, and Amy (Steve) King; grandchildren, Lee Rhode, Nicholas Rhode, Blake (Carissa) Rhode, James Cole, Cory (Samantha) Ryan, Drew Ryan, Megan Roy; step grandchildren, Liz Roy, Chris (Magen) Roy, Michelle (Chad) Newton, Kara Guss, Kristin Guss, Lynn Howard, Tim Howard, Sarah Gobble, Alex King and Zach King; great-grandchildren, Grace and Addison; step great-grandchildren, Corbin, Alaina and soon to be Lillian. Jim will also be missed by his lap warmer, Bert the cat.
Jim was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law, Gene A. and Verna Rhode.
Friends may call 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the First Presbyterian Church, 125 S. Poplar St., Bucyrus, where funeral services will follow at 11 a.m., with Rev. John Cory officiating. A committal burial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Chapel of Meadow Green Memorial Park, 2602 Bogart Road, Huron. Family will be there at 2:30 p.m. and will receive friends until the start of the service. Full military rites will be provided at the cemetery by both the U.S. Army and American Legion, Post 83 Honor Guards.
Memorial contributions may be given to the First Presbyterian Church and any gifts will be given to the Food for the Hungry Program. Contributions may be left at the church on the day of the funeral or mailed to Wise Funeral Service, 129 W. Warren St., Bucyrus, OH 44820.
Expressions of sympathy may be left at wisefuneral.com.