Donald Walter Rhodes was born March 30, 1919, in Lehi, Utah, to Alonzo Donald Rhodes and Clara Woffinden Rhodes. Donald passed away Friday, July 19, 2013, in his Idaho Falls home.
Donald attened grammar school in American Fork, Utah. He graduated from American Fork High School and attended one year at Brigham Young University before signing up for the draft in the United States Army. His one-year commitment to the Army turned into five years with the outbreak of World War II. Donald ranked as second lieutenant, serving one year in Peru and two more years on the front lines in Italy. After his service in the Army, Donald finished four years at BYU and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After his military service, Donald met his wife and sweetheart, Lilly LaVerne Gomez, by the Veterans Affairs office at BYU. They were married for time and eternity in December 1946 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
After graduating from UW, Don and LaVerne lived seven years in Richland, Wash., where he worked at Hanford Nuclear Plant. In 1957, he was hired on at Phillips Petroleum, working at the Site (now INL) west of Idaho Falls. He retired from the INL at the age of 73.
Donald was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in various positions, including seven years as Bishop of the Idaho Falls 22nd Ward, stake Sunday School Presidency, High Councilor, and High Priest Group Leader.
Donald enjoyed gardening, fishing, camping with his family and hunting. He taught himself Spanish and believed he always needed to be learning something. He participated in Spanish extraction for many years.
Donald is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, LaVerne; one daughter, Karalie (Wayne) Morgan of Idaho Falls; and five sons, Robert Erwin (Jo) Rhodes of Prescott, Ariz., Barry Elmo (Lorraine) Rhodes of Ucon, Idaho, Kevin Donald (Raelene) Rhodes of Fort Worth, Texas, Kerry Thomas (Sheri) Rhodes of Decatur, Texas, and Kip Allen (Melissa) Rhodes of Idaho Falls. He has 23 living grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Glenn and Darrell; one grandchild, Leda (7); and two great-grandchildren, Kade (4) and Dillion (2).
Funeral services will be held at noon Friday, July 26, at the Idaho Falls West Stake Center, 2040 Brentwood Drive, with Bishop Troy Bodily of the Idaho Falls Westhill Ward officiating. The family will visit with friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Wood Funeral Home, 273 N. Ridge Ave., and from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Cemetery.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.com.