Rhodes, Walter Samuel formerly of Champion, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Vulcan Community Health Centre, on March 5, 2017 at the age of 94 years. He was born on March 7, 1922 on the family homestead east of Champion, to George and Jennie Rhodes.
Walter grew up on the farm helping his dad and brothers with the hard work that comes with farming. He also helped his dad in the mine. He attended the Sanderson School and managed to finish Grade 8 before his help was needed more frequently. He moved to Bellevue, Alberta, for two winters, with some of his brothers and their wives and rented a house there. Walter was the only one working in the mine in Hillcrest so it was up to him to pay the rent and buy groceries until the others were able to find work.
He married June Ashmore, from Champion, on December 12, 1943. They settled on the farm 7 miles east of Champion. Walter and brothers Cecil and Glenn, farmed and mined together. They started their own trucking business, Rhodes Bros. Trucking. They worked hard to supply what was needed for their growing families. Walter and June left the farm and moved into Champion in the fall of 1993. Walter & June celebrated 71 years of marriage in December 2014.
Walter and June were blessed with 6 children and will be forever missed by: Lynne (Darrel) Vaage of Vulcan, Doug (Ella) of Champion, Jerry (Louise) of Champion, Marjorie (Terry) Hamilton of Coalhurst, Leslie (Lynne) of Champion, David of Champion. These families blessed them with 19 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren with 3 more coming this year; and 5 great great grandchildren. Walter was predeceased by his loving wife, June; son, Jerry; his parents, George & Jenny; 4 brothers Clarence, Cecil, Leonard, and Glenn; sisters Mary and Hazel; and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Walter & June loved to go south for a few weeks in the winter. They loved going camping in the summer with their kids and grandkids. When they moved into Champion he planted a garden in the back and it became his pride and joy.
Walter loved playing baseball, shooting pool, curling, golfing, fishing, playing cribbage, and numerous card games with the kids and grandkids. In his later years he enjoyed going to the grandkids sports events and cheering them on. Walter and June were so proud of their children and grandchildren. Their love and support was never ending and given unconditionally.
Walter was a member of the Champions Lion Club, Pioneer Club of Champion, and attended Champion Congregational Church.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at the Champion Community Hall.
Tributes in Walter’s memory can be made to the Vulcan Community Health Centre Long Term Care Unit, Box 299, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0.
Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home. Email condolences through www.vulcanfuneralhome.ca.