William Mackey Rhodes was born on Feb. 13, 1933 in Fulton, Kentucky, to the parents of Ferd and Lillian Rhodes. He grew up on a tobacco farm and attended school in Fulton. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Victorville, California and Greenville, South Carolina and served in the Korean Conflict as a mechanic. On a stay back home in Tennessee, friends set him up on a blind date and he met the love of his life, Marilyn Yvonne Hannings. They were married on August 11, 1952 and together celebrated 67 years of marriage.
After the service, he worked for Billups Oil Company and was a gas station attendant in Jackson, Mississippi. He then moved to Donna, Texas and was employed by the National Linen Company located in Corpus Christi.
In 1970, they welcomed a daughter, Marilyn Annette, and in 1972, welcomed a son, William David, and their family was complete. In 1975, he was transferred to Longview, Texas. He and his family moved to the East Mountain community and have lived there for 45 years. He retired from National Linen in 1988 and then went into a second career opening his own business for Rainbow Vacuum Sales. He kept his business open until he was 80 years old. Also, during his retirement years, he worked at WalMart as a greeter.
He was an active member of Longview Missionary Baptist Church where he was a member of the seniors class with many wonderful friends.
He loved traveling, gardening, hunting, fishing, and his dog, Winn Dixie. He also liked technology and always had to have the latest gadget and keeping up with family on social media. He was a real people person, very outgoing, and never met a stranger. But, most of all, he loved his family, including his six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
He passed away from this life and entered the gates of Heaven on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 after a brief illness at the age of 87. He is preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Hoyt Rhodes. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; daughter, Annette Johnson and husband Mid; son David Rhodes and former daughter-in-law, Kim Rhodes; six grandchildren Mackenzie Rhodes, Hunter Rhodes, Hannah Rhodes, Blake Johnson, Claire Johnson, Natalie Johnson and 1 great-grandchild Ivee Grae Rhodes.
Visitation will be held at Welch Funeral Home in Longview on Monday, March 9, 2020 from 5 to 7 pm. The funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 10 am in the chapel of Welch Funeral Home. A graveside with military honors will be held at Corinth Cemetery in Timpson, Texas on Tuesday at 1 pm.
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