Charles Eugene “Chuck” Rhodes, age 83 years of Niles, Michigan, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, creative machinist, sport shooter and reloader, and avid gardener died peacefully at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023 with his family gathered around him at his home following a brief illness.
He was born on August 1, 1939 in Saint Joseph, Michigan to Charles J. and Frances L. (Wissler) Rhodes, and was graduated in 1958 from Saint Joseph High School. He was first employed as a sheet metal fabricator at the Whirlpool Corporation, and completed two years of training at Whirlpool Tech during his eight years there. He was then employed at the former Berrien County plant of Dayco Products, eventually retiring in 2000 from its successor, Greco, Inc. at the end of a remarkable career of forty years in manufacturing production.
Chuck really enjoyed his life’s vocation of metal work, and always maintained a machine shop at home . . . because eight hours-a-day were not enough. When his children were young, he produced amazing playground equipment for his backyard. Over the years he has designed and produced a wide variety of metal products including home healthcare equipment and physical therapy apparatus for family members and friends.
He was a member of the Berrien County Sportsman’s Club where he practiced pistol shooting and reloading. He enjoyed hiking and camping with his family, often at Michigan’s Warren Dunes State Park or Indiana’s Potato Creek State Park. At home, he was an avid gardener, with a special interest in strawberries and tomatoes. All of these outdoor activities were recorded by another avocation, photography of nature. As in all of his pursuits, he took photography seriously, including maintaining a darkroom to develop and print his photographs. Above all of these interests and activities, his family was his priority.
On January 16, 1960 in Saint Joseph, Michigan he married the former Maryann Theresa Terlisner, with whom he celebrated the remarkable Forty-fifth Anniversary of their wedding, prior to her death on December 13, 2005.
Surviving family includes their children, Cynthia (& Milo) Goorhouse of Dowagiac, Michigan, Jeffrey Rhodes of Niles, and Christine (& Tony) Konkey of Niles; grandchildren Rachel (& John) Redmond, Jacob Rhodes, and Marcus Rhodes; great-grandchildren Cody Redmond, Dakota Redmond, Cheyenne Redmond, and Arianna Redmond; and Chuck’s sister, Louise Rhodes of Niles.
The funeral service for Charles Rhodes will be at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with the Rev. Christian Johnston of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Niles officiating. Committal will be private, at a later date, at the Silverbrook Cemetery Columbarium in Niles.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of Chuck may be made to the Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105; https://www.stjude.org/ . Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Chuck had a unique view of life, was able to see a need, and use his skills to bend and join pieces of metal to fulfill that need; and had a determination to keep making adjustments until the result was perfected. And he could see details in nature that were worthy of recording on film. Most importantly, he could see unique values in the people around him and be an encourager, especially to his family and to Maryann.