2009-12-10 / Obituaries

Rev. Charles F. Rhodes

Bedford, 84

Rev. Charles F. Rhodes, 84, died Thursday, December 3, 2009, at Pennknoll Village in Bedford as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born in Newton Hamilton on December 16, 1924, the son of H. Frank and Thelma Grace (Sunderland) Rhodes.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, June; his second wife, Geraldine; daughter Vicki Smith, brothers Donald, Edward, Harry and Blair Rhodes, sisters Lottie Runk and Erma Moore.

He is survived by daughters: Carol, married to Walter Allen Jr. of Union Bridge, Md.; Sandra, married to Roy Creswell of Huntingdon; Tonya, married to Denne Osman of Alum Bank; and son Charles F. Rhodes, married to Romona (Weyant) of Fishertown, and stepdaughter Linda, married to Richard Fisher of Fishertown; his special companion, Jeanie Ferguson; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was in the Army from May 24, 1943, through March 3, 1946. During that time, he was stationed at Camp Miles Standish and Camp Edwards, Mass.; Camp Shanks, Ft. Hamilton; and Camp Kilmer, N.J., Camp Plauche, La.; and Fort Ord, Monterey, Calif. While at Camp Edwards, he attended cook, butcher and baker school. There he was second in command and was chosen to be drill master. While in Camp Plauche, La., New Orleans, he trained to be a stevedore (loading and unloading ships with a crane and boom), and while at Camp Kilmer he was second in command in the meat shop, overseeing 20 German and 10 Italian prisoners. He trained in Joe Lewis (heavy weight) and Fritzi Zivic (middleweight) boxing camp by Sgt. Weis, who thought he had the potential to become a professional boxer, but turned it down because he knew he wanted to go into the ministry.

After being discharged from the Army, he worked as a laborer, a green brick processor and fired the kilns at the Cilica Brickyard in Mt. Union. He worked as a grocer and a butcher for the A&P grocery store in Mt. Union. He then became one of the top salesmen at the Ford Motor Co. in Mt. Union.

In 1949, he worked construction, full-time, for the Clair Love Construction Co. during the day and started preaching as an evangelist in the evening. He started evangelistic preaching full-time in 1951. He and his three brothers sang as a quartet at most of his services.

He started college at Shippensburg State Teachers College in 1953; his major was English and his minor was social studies. In 1954, while attending college full-time, he took-on a fulltime charge of four churches for the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Three Springs. In 1955, his junior year, he toured the state of Pennsylvania with Dr. Bernard Hogg, the renowned social studies professor of Shippensburg State Teacher’s College. He graduated in 1956, completing his degree in three years. He took his teacher’s certification course through Penn State at its extension school at Mt. Union High School.

In 1954, at his first charge, Three Springs, he was appointed pastor of seven churches. He was a member of the Three Springs Fire Department where he often drove the fire truck and ambulance. While serving at Three Springs, he became ordained by the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1961.

From February 2, 1964, through 1980, he was the pastor of the United Methodist Church charge in Fishertown, a charge of four churches and operation of Bethel Park Camp Ground. In 1980 he established the very wellknown Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church. When the church was started, the services were held in the Schellsburg and Imler firehalls. In 1981, the services were held in the basement of the church and from there moved up to the beautiful first floor.

He was a full-time teacher at Forbes Road High School for six years and was a substitute teacher at many local high schools for 43 years and was also the chaplain of the Shirleysburg Home of the Aged for 15 years. He was a member of the VFW in Huntingdon and a member of the Huntingdon American Legion.

He loved his family, he loved to hunt, eat steak and ice cream, and he loved serving God to the best of his ability. The sight of his Ford on the highway will be a sight missed by all who knew him.

Funeral services were held on Monday, December 7, 2009, at 11 a.m. at Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church, New Paris. There was also be a funeral service on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. at Wayne United Methodist Church at McVeytown. A committal service will follow at the church cemetery.

Anyone choosing to make a donation in lieu of flowers can make their donation to The Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church.

Arrangements entrusted to Mickle-Geisel Funeral Home, Schellsburg.

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