Gordon M. Rhoades, 81, of Crescent City, passed away peacefully June 5, 2019, at Riverside Miller Rehabilitation Center, Kankakee.

He was born on the family farm May 5, 1938, the son of John and Eloise Rhoades.

The farm was just south of Crescent City. He attended and graduated from Watseka Community High School. Gordon was very proud to be the first football team manager for coach Gordon McKenzie.

After graduating from high school, he worked for Illinois Bell and other Bell system companies. He was a devoted telephone lineman and enjoyed a long career and retired after 30 years of service.

Gordon was one of several residents to start the civil defense in Watseka. They not only helped out during local disasters such as snowstorms and flooding in the town but throughout the county. The civil defense also sponsored the highly-regarded track meet sportsmanship trophy for the county track meet.

He helped out in all kinds of local projects, including coaching Little League Baseball helping with local churches’ projects and helping in many positions at the county fair. Some of his favorite things that he loved were fishing, traveling, helping out his friends and family, especially with their farming duties, and mowing his big yard.

The things that were very close to his heart were his model railroading, beloved Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks. As a sports fan, in his later years, he enjoyed watching surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii and University of Hawaii football at the Aloha Stadium.

He was an amazing father. He will be truly missed by his family, friends and the community he grew up around and loved. Gordon made many friends easily and will be missed by his friends and family in Hawaii. “Aloha Dad until we meet again,” his family said.

Surviving are his sons, Steve Rhoades and family; and Jeff Rhoades and family; and grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors, dear friends and his Hawaiian cat, Puter.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka. The service will follow, also at the funeral home, with the Rev. Bart Koester officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to American Heart Association.

Please sign his online guestbook at knappfuneralhomes.com.


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