Wendell Allen Rhodes was born Jan. 4, 1924, in Le Mars, one of six children born to Thurman and Laura May (Oldes) Rhodes. He graduated from Le Mars High School and worked at the local bakery and the Le Mars Semi-Weekly Sentinel.
Wendell enlisted in the United States Navy on June 18, 1943, and served overseas aboard the USS Escambia. He served as a Radioman, Third Class prior to earning his honorable discharge on Dec. 15, 1945.
On Feb. 18, 1945, Wendell and Colleen Lindsey were united in marriage at Riverside, Calif. Following Wendell's discharge from the Navy, the couple made their home in Brookings, S.D., where Wendell attended South Dakota State University.
After graduation they moved to Albert Lea, Minn., where Wendell took a position with the Albert Lea Tribune. In 1956 Wendell and Colleen moved to Rockford, Ill. Wendell worked as a linotype operator and in electronic maintenance for more than 30 years at the Rockford Register Star. He also attended Rock Valley College in Rockford to further his career.
Wendell and Colleen retired in 1986. Colleen died Nov. 1, 2004, and Wendell returned to Le Mars to spend the remainder of his retirement.
Wendell was a member of the Broadway Methodist Church in Rockford, Ill.
He enjoyed camping, woodworking, golfing and was an avid gardener.
He and Colleen took many trips to Le Mars and Merrill to assist her mother and visit local family. They also spent several winters in Arizona.
He will be lovingly remembered by close family members Ron Morris and his wife Betty of Stillman Valley, Ill., Laura Jane Morris of Los Angeles, Calif., Cindy Gillman and her husband Blake of Scottsdale, Ariz., Sarah Macias and her husband Juvan, Brian Morris and his wife Kristie all of Rockford, Ill.; two brothers, Thurman Rhodes Jr. and his wife Pauline of Conway, Ark., and Sumner Rhodes and his wife Clara of Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; numerous nieces and nephews in the Rhodes family; Colleen's nieces and nephews Jack Lindsey and his wife Deb, Tom Lindsey, Susan Young, Danet Ketelsen and her husband John, Rick Lindsey and Carey Robley, Mike Lindsey and his wife Marcy; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Colleen; a sister Sylvia Morris; brothers Darrell Rhodes and his wife Bernece and Richard Rhodes and his wife Ruth; brothers-in-law Duane Lindsey and his wife Marion and Clinton Lindsey and his wife Janet; nephews Kenneth Rhodes, Phillip Rhodes, Randall Lindsey and Jerry Young.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Merrill First United Methodist Church in Merrill. The Rev. Ted Stowers will officiate. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery in Merrill. Military honors will be provided by the Olson-Halweg American Legion Post #125. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. today (Tuesday) at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars. The family will be present from 5-8 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service on Wednesday.
Stories, memories, and expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com