Mr. Clyde Thomas Rhodes, age 95, a longtime resident of DeFuniak Springs, Florida passed away peacefully at his home on the evening of Monday, November 22, 2021. He was born in Elba, Alabama, December 19, 1925, the first child of Clyde G. Rhodes, and his wife Hettie Thomas Rhodes. On April 3, 1944, he joined the United States Army to serve in WWII, where he served at several locations in the European Theatre. He received several commendations, and was honorably discharged as a Tech Sergeant March 15, 1949. Following his discharge, he returned to Elba where he took a job with a local jeweler and learned watch repair. It was during this time that he first saw the lady he would marry. Clyde asked his sister to introduce them, and history was made. Clyde and Marylene Pope Rhodes were married on December 22, 1950, and went on to celebrate a remarkable 70 years together. Their first son, Wayne, was born in 1952, and the young family moved to DeFuniak Springs in 1953. Following the war, housing could be hard to find, but they were able to rent a tiny upstairs apartment. Before long, the couple bought a small house and made additions for their growing family. They lived in this house on West Park Avenue for nearly 50 years. Their second son, Bruce, was born in 1957. That same year, Clyde and Marylene opened Rhodes' Jewelers in downtown DeFuniak Springs. The family attended First Baptist Church, where Clyde served as a deacon for many years. He was also a long-time member of Kiwanis International and the Gideons. He will be especially remembered for his delightful sense of humor, and for his kindness and consideration toward all who knew him.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marylene; his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Clyde G. Rhodes; brother, Dorsey Rhodes; and brother-in-law, Horace Sessions.
He is survived by one sister, Betty Sessions; one brother, Mr. Wilson Rhodes, and his wife Joyce; one sister-in-law, Sarah Rhodes; two sons, Wayne Rhodes and his wife Beverly and Bruce Rhodes and his wife Cynthia; three grandchildren, Eric Wilkinson and wife Melody, Brian Rhodes and wife Rachel, and Michelle Rhodes; two step-grandchildren, Rob Orcutt and wife Marianna Pinazo, and Angie Orcutt; one step-great-grandchild, Luna Orcutt-Pinazo; many nieces and nephews; great-nieces and nephews; and his devoted caregiver and family friend, Brianna Perz.
"The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had." ~Robert Louis Stevenson
Graveside services will be held Monday, November 29, 2021, at Magnolia Cemetery beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Jerry Chumley officiating. Military honors will be provided by the United States Army.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gideons to be used for purchasing Bibles and spreading the gospel.
Arrangements and services are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home of DeFuniak Springs.