Cover photo for James  W. Rhodes's Obituary
James  W. Rhodes Profile Photo
1946 James 2019

James W. Rhodes

May 10, 1946 — August 19, 2019

Some may have described James "Jim" Rhodes Jr. as ornery, but he truly had a heart of gold. He was good hearted and would help anyone out in need, even plowing neighbors drives in the winter before they even woke up. He was strong willed, a hard worker and loved his family. Anyone who had the chance to know Jim truly was blessed.

With WWII ending the year prior, people expected a better life than before the war years with the Great Depression causing poverty and hardship worldwide. Most manufacturing had been focused during the past five years on the War effort but 1946 saw the development of Tupperware, AT&T announced the concept of their first car phones and Bikinis went on sale in Paris. There were still major job shortages and housing for those returning home from war around the world and the baby boom also started as couples married and had children. Some of the births in 1946 included Tommy Lee Jones, Jimmy Buffett, Cher, Dolly Parton, Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Among these births, James W. Sr. and Mary Charlette (Fisher) Rhodes welcomed their first-born child James W. Rhodes Jr. into their hearts and home. Jim was born on May 10, 1946 in Pennsylvania.

At a young age, Jim's parents moved the family to Woodburn, Indiana. He was an adventurous child and loved being outdoors. Jim enjoyed all sports and while attending Woodlan Junior-Senior High School he played football and basketball. He went on to graduate with the Class of 1964.

Being a hard worker and wanting to provide the best he could for his loved ones, Jim worked for over 30 years at Phelps Dodge in Fort Wayne, retiring in 1999. He also worked part time at Rack & Helen's in New Haven, Barry's Boat House and Shriner Lake Marine both in Columbia City. In 1995, he moved from Fort Wayne to his home on Big Cedar Lake north of Columbia City. It was also during his career at Phelps, Jim worked with Patricia McMahan. The two fell in love and after retiring, they were married at Barry's Boat House on May 28, 2000.

Jim loved being on the lake, riding around on his boat and of course fishing. It was not uncommon for him and some buddies to take weeklong trips to fish in Canada. His fish fries were the best! Jim also was a great cook, would go grocery shopping for the best deal and would do weekly food prep for him and Pat.

Being active, Jim also enjoyed woodworking, golfing, bowling, softball, playing poker and going to the casinos. In most of his vehicles he had a CB installed and went by the handle, "Dusty J" any time he used it. Jim was a member of the American Legion in Albion, VFW in Wolf Lake and the Moose in New Haven.

Tragically, Jim's life was cut short when he unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 73 at 5:50 a.m. Monday, August 19, 2019 at his home. He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Patricia McMahan; children, Pam (Danny) Harrison, of Greenfield, Susan (Donald Bender) Janes, of Columbia City and Rodney (Christina) Rhodes, of Fort Wayne; brothers, Dave (Lois) Rhodes, of New Haven and Paul (Cheryl) Rhodes, of Oregon; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Joan Sherry; and granddaughter in 2010, Amanda Janes.

A gathering of family and friends will be from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, August 24, 2019 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Memorial gifts may be given in Jim's memory to the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. Visit to send his family condolences online.


DeMoney-Grimes a Life Story Funeral Home
600 Countryside Drive Columbia City, Indiana 46725

12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James W. Rhodes, please visit our flower store.


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