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Donald A. Rhodes

June 23, 1927 November 23, 2010
Donald A. Rhodes
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Obituary for Donald A. Rhodes

Donald A. Rhodes, a resident of Hartland since 1986, and former resident of Milford and Highland, died at his home in the care of his family on November 23, 2010. He was 83 years old.

Born on June 23, 1927 in Utica, New York, the son of Archie and Sarah (Ferguson) Rhodes, Don grew up in New York with his sister Carol.

At the age of 18, Don served his country as a Sergeant in the 342nd United States Army Air Forces Base Unit. He served as a Medical Administrative Specialist and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal.

Don met Helen E. Klafehn at a church function in Rochester New York and they married on November 24, 1951. They shared 33 years of marriage and had three children together. Helen passed away November 10, 1984.

Don began his career with Burroughs and then Rochester Products. In due time, Don came to work for the Rochester Products division of the Milford G.M. Proving Grounds where he worked for over 30 years.

Don was a local hero who served his community as the Hartland Township Supervisor. He was credited as having "saved the Township" when he agreed to return for another term.

A longtime member of Our Savior Lutheran Church, it was there that Don met Shirley Halliday. In April of 1986, the couple was married and have lived together in the Village of Hartland where they shared a rich, loving life together ever since.

Don was an avid golfer who enjoyed his time on the green as much as on the water. Don spent many boyhood summers in the Adirondack Mountains boating and swimming. As an adult he became active in Power Squadron and achieved his Captain rating for power boats. He also focused on sailing and was an active member of American Youth Hostel (AYH) where he earned his sailing license and sailed the lakes of Kensington Metro Park, the North Channel, Saginaw Bay, and the Caribbean. He was a fan of jelly beans and chocolate covered cherries.

Don had a smile for everyone. Ever the gracious gentleman, in response to the usual "How are you?" Don was known to respond, "I'm better now that I've seen you."

He was preceded in death by Helen (Klafehn) in 1984 and a sister, Carol (Ken) Watson. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons, Craig Rhodes, Scott (Georgie) Rhodes; daughter, Nancy (Jeff) Leach; step-children, Al (Jane Halliday), Carol (Bob) Smith, Rick (Lisa) Halliday, Cathy (Bill) Johnson, Mark (Sue) Halliday, Jane (Mike) Small, eighteen grandchildren, eighteen great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren, and many dear friends, whose lives are better now having known Don.


A Funeral Service will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 13667 W. Highland Road, Hartland, on Monday, November 29, at 11AM, with Pastor Christopher Thoma officiating. Burial and Military Honors will follow at Highland Cemetery. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2-8PM and one hour prior at the church. Memorials may be made in his name to the church. For further information please phone 248-684-6645.

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