Thomas Rhodes was a child of the depression, born on February 1, 1931, to T.E. Rhodes and wife Nannie. Thomas passed on to glory on July 19, 2020.
A graveside service will be held at the Bovina Cemetery on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home.
“That’s a tough way to serve the Lord” was one of Thomas’s favorite quotes. Thomas would make the comment while watching a hay-grinder standing in a cloud of dust, a concrete-finisher, or a roofer during a hot afternoon. Thomas understood “a tough way to serve the Lord” as he lived those words following the tragic death of the love-of-his-life Virginia in August 2013.
Thomas is survived by daughter Rhonda Rhodes and husband Terry Howard and their daughter Ragan, all of Denver. He is also survived by son Thomas Alan Rhodes and wife Robyn of Amarillo and their children Katherine Parks, husband Billy, and daughters Abigail and Alden, all of North Richland Hills, Thomas Kregg Rhodes, wife Julie and son Thomas, all of Dallas and Jena Rhodes of Dallas.
Thomas is also survived by eight of fourteen of the God-given blessings known as Ellison-family first cousins. The survivors are Jim Ellison, Johnny Glover, Lois Damron, Lillie Christian, Willie Denney, Janeen Grissom, Harold Tidenburg, and Rosa Lea Tabor. The Ellison cousins enjoyed almost sibling relationships and the cousins’ children enjoy close relationships today.
In addition, Thomas is survived by the descendants of his sister, Dorothy Sims Wilson: Susan Moudy and husband Mark, Mike Sims and wife Dalene, Pat Sims and wife Suzanne, Doug Sims and wife Donna, and Scott Sims and wife Tina. Finally, Thomas was blessed to be survived by Virginia’s brothers and sisters: Jeanie Bailey of Lubbock, Karen McCall and husband Mike of Hempstead, Texas, Jerry Bailey and wife Nita of Clovis, New Mexico and Leta Harvell and husband Chuck of Aiken, South Carolina.
Adding to Thomas’s comment: “tough way to serve the Lord” was Thomas recurring reminder that: “one inspection is worth 500 reports.” Thomas was a Parmer County farmer’s farmer. Thomas was known for beautiful crops, clean seed-wheat delivered to Sherley Anderson elevator, mowed bar-ditches, and a squeaky-clean barn. Thomas respected and practiced “attention to detail”. Alan and his farming partner relied on Thomas’s careful inspections and reputation as they developed a Parmer County farm and assisted dairy farmers choosing to locate in Parmer, Castro and Deaf Smith Counties, southwest Kansas and eastern New Mexico.
Thomas encouraged Rhonda and Alan to make good choices by using the words: “discretion is the better part of valor.” Thomas coached Rhonda and Alan and enjoyed an uncanny knack of urging his children to put themselves in the best possible strategic position and multiply opportunities that were developed.
Thomas was an Elder of the Bovina Church of Christ, a member of Colonies Church of Christ and Central Church of Christ, and a past member of the Boards of Trustees of the Bovina School District and the Parmer County Appraisal District. Thomas followed his uncle Buck Ellison as one of the volunteer care takers of the Bovina Cemetery.
Thomas and Virginia enjoyed supporting the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, the High Plains Christian Children’s Home, the Rhodes Institute for Undergraduate Students at Lubbock Christian University, the Rhodes Scholarship fund for educators at Lubbock Christian University and the Endowment Fund for WTAMU’s Amarillo Center. In lieu of other acknowledgements, the family requests that you consider a gift to the High Plains Children’s Home, Lubbock Christian University, or the WTAMU Foundation for the benefit of WT’s Amarillo Center.
The Rhodes family thanks the staffs of Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital, the Continental, the Arbors and the Ware for caring for Thomas through the Covid-19 quarantine.
From Thomas’s family, Blessings, All the Best, and Thanks for all you’ve done for our family.