Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Lynn Rogers Rhodes, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)April, 24, 1932 – January 30, 2016
Lynn Rogers Rhodes, 84, passed away Saturday, January 30th 2016 at Legend Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM, Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Holy Cross Episcopal Church with The Rev. Jeff Kraemer and The Rev. Betty Clement officiating.
Burial with military honors will be at 1:00 PM Thursday at the Oak Wood Cemetery in Honey Grove. The family will receive friends from 6:00-7:00 PM Wednesday at Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home.
Lynn was born in Honey Grove, TX on April, 24, 1932 to A. J. and Evelyn Branum Rhodes. Growing up in the Honey Grove, Roxton, and Petty area, Lynn had a great appreciation for the Lone Star Farmer of Area 6. He was in the first graduating class from the new West Lamar High School (1953). At West Lamar he was President of the class and salutatorian.
He entered Texas A & M University in Bryan, TX. His goal was to become an airplane pilot, so he transferred to East Texas State Teachers College (now Texas A & M Commerce) in 1953 to complete his Air Force ROTC courses. While at ETSTC he was also active in the Rodeo Team and competed in bareback and bull riding. He participated in rodeos at Arlington State College and Texas A & M. He graduated from ETSTC with a BS in Agriculture in 1953.
He was commissioned as a Second Lt. and began his pilot training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX. One of his first assignments was at Ellington AFB in Houston in Air Sea Rescue. Later he volunteered for the unique and classified experimental assignment that involved the Eniwetok and Bikini Atoll H-Bomb nuclear test in 1956. He flew his C-130 within 18 miles of the drop-zone. He was contacted in 1978 by the U. S. government concerning his exposure to radiation.
In Okinawa, Japan he served in USAF Rescue at Naha Air Base. There he met and married Georgie Scarlas, a 1st/Lt in the US Army Nurse Corp. They were married at the Naha Air Base Chapel on February 1, 1958.
He also was a member of the Air Force task force which assisted in Operation Deep Freeze ’65. The operation involved the annual resupply of a scientific station on the frozen continent of Antarctica.
During his tenure in the Air Force he had the opportunity to fly a variety of aircrafts in his assignments in Air Sea Rescue, Transport, and Medical Air Evacuation. He flew the Grumman Albatross Amphibian SA 16, Convair C-131, Saberliner T-39, C-130 and also the H-19 helicopter and F-4 fighter interceptor.
He had three temporary duty (TDY) tours in Vietnam prior to being stationed for a year at Tan San Hut AFB in Saigon. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. After his assignment in Vietnam he was assigned as Commander of Detachment 5, 86th Air Division of an Air Force NATO unit of F-4 fighter interceptors on a German air base in Erding, Germany. He was decorated for meritorious service for this assignment. He was cited for his outstanding professional skill, knowledge and leadership which aided immeasurably in identifying and solving numerous problems encountered in the accomplishment of his duties. He and his family remained in Germany for 4 years. On his return to the United States he was stationed at various bases throughout the United States until his retirement in 1975.
After retiring from the U.S Air Force, he earned a Master’s Degree in Education in 1974 from Southern Illinois University. Lynn began a second career in counseling at Paris Junior College. While at Paris Junior College he was involved in Academic advising – helping students on their path to graduation; Career counseling- assisting students in finding academic and vocational paths that best fit their interests, and Personal counseling (helping students with personal issues, test anxiety, and confidence building). Lynn also developed a biofeedback program that was used by faculty, administration, and students. His door was always open, and over the years he helped countless students until his retirement 1998.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Georgia Scarlas, July 12, 1998; daughter Diana Rhodes Covington, Dec. 30, 2007, and Brother Jerry Rhodes of Dallas Nov. 7, 2010. He is survived by his wife, Lorrie Norton Hegstad Rhodes, who he married in 2000; his daughter Sherri Rhodes Reinert, husband Chris, and grandson Alex Reinert of Frisco; Brother Ronald Rhodes and wife Nancy and son-in-law Troy Covington of Paris.
Lynn was a member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry and as an usher at the 8 am service. He held memberships in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3790, The Elks Club, The National Rifle Association and The Maxey Gun Club.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Georgie Scarlas Rhodes Nursing Scholarship Fund at Paris Junior College, Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, or Christians in Action Paris.
Pallbearers will Don Dickerson, Jim Bell, Robert Thornburrow, Tim Shelton, Konstantine Bakintas, Joe Stevens, and Dr. Jerry Akers. Asked to serve as honorary pallbearers are Kenneth Springer and Jack Mason.