MOUNT VERNON — Laurence Winton Rhoads, 95, Mount Vernon, formerly of Centerburg and Galena, passed away at his home Nov. 22, 2010, surrounded by his family after a long battle with “old age” or as he often said, “a case of just living too long.”
He was born March 25, 1915, to William and Gertrude (Budd) Rhoads in Harlem Township in the Galena/Sunbury area. He was number five in birth order in a family of 14 children. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Mildred M. (Brown) Rhoads on Aug. 22, 2008. He was drafted into the Army shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and served his country in active combat in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He was a decorated veteran including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. A portion of his life and World War II experience was featured in the Mount Vernon News Veterans Day Week 2009. After returning from the war he was a grain and dairy farmer and later became an electrician. Retired at 70 years of age from the state of Ohio as a state electrical inspector. He was an avid reader, enjoyed gardening and his antique Ford tractor. Laurence will always be remembered for his humor, ready jokes and stories. He and Mildred spent several years wintering in Brookville, Fla.
Laurence is survived by five daughters, Sherry Rhoads Davis, Lois Badger, Rita (Karrick) McKinney, Joan (Ed Wright) Rhoads and Rhonda (Rodney) Arter; 14 grandchildren, Gretchen (Doug) Hawk, Eric (Melony) Davis, Sonya Sheldon (Carmen Cook), Spencer (Debbie) Sheldon, Skip (Laura) Sant, Scott (Tonya) Sant, Steve (Teresa) Sant, Jamie (Amy) McClain, Misty (Mitch) Rohr, Jason (Lori) Hendrickson, Brandi (Dustin) Whitesel, Will (Wengy) Arter and Arianne (John) Schwanke; as well as 39 great-grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Also surviving are five sisters, Lucille Beelisle, Dorothy Stiles, Juanita Walter, Opal Norgren and Erma Moon; a sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn and Don Lewis; many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends including his Lock Church Family.
He was preceded in death, in addition to his wife, Mildred, by his first grandson, Brent Davis, in 2004; brothers, Vernon and Cecil; and sisters, Wanda, Pauline, Winona, Mildred, Muriel and Connie; as well as many nieces and nephews and dear friends.
A graveside service with military honors will be Saturday, Nov. 27, at 9:30 a.m. at Eastview Cemetery, Centerburg, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Lock Federated Church, 7939 Lock Road, Centerburg. The Rev. Jack Clouston longtime family friend officiating. Arrangements by the Johnson-Melick-Moreland Funeral Home, Centerburg.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050; or Lock Federated Church, c/o First-Knox National Bank, Drawer F, Centerburg, OH 43011.