VANN RHODES

Obituary
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Vann Rhodes, a retired Public Administrator, departed this life on September 20, 2011. A native of Winton, North Carolina, Vann was born on December 24, 1924. He graduated from Ahoskie High School in North Carolina. Relocating to Norfolk, Virginia at the outbreak of World War II, he served as an Engineering Technician at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which was a key facility within America's "Arsenal of Democracy" in the global struggle to defeat fascism. He was employed in an explosive impact test program, which provided designers with key insights to improve the survivability of ships against the weaponry of that era. The results of these studies were incorporated into Essex-class Aircraft Carriers and subsequent ships of the U.S. Navy. Following the War, Vann earned a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary, and was always proud of graduating from the second-oldest college in the United States, a distinction he shared with three Presidents of the United States. Vann moved to Miami, Florida in 1951 and worked as an architectural designer. On a vacation to New York City, he met and impressed a young lady from Virginia, and he and Emily were married in 1953. The responsibilities of family soon followed. For the majority of his career, Vann was the Director of Development for the Metro-Dade County Housing Authority in Miami. He was committed to the ideal of decent and affordable housing for all members of our society. Concurrent with work, Vann earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Upon retirement, he came to DeLand to become the Executive Director of the DeLand Housing Authority. He also served two years as the first Director of the DeLand Chamber of Commerce's Visitors Center. A committed Christian, Vann was a member of the First United Methodist Church of DeLand. He was active in church committees and programs, and was Church Historian and President of the Administrative Council. His faith was exhibited by action, including his service at St. Barnabas Church's Faith at Work Program, his 30 years in the Gideons International ministry, and his other volunteer activities. In retirement, Vann was Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the DeLand Housing Authority; served as President and Archivist of the West Volusia Historical Society; and devoted countless hours in various capacities to Main Street DeLand, the Fall Festival of the Arts, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Jamestowne Society. A kind gentleman who was a friend to everyone he encountered, Vann's witty sense of humor was prized by all who knew him well. He never failed to meet any obligation to his Lord, his family, or his community, and always set a sterling example for others to follow. Vann is survived by his sons, Henry V. Rhodes of Cocoa Beach, FL and Thomas J. Rhodes of Atlanta, Georgia; a daughter-in-law, Kathi Woodliff Pierce Rhodes of Atlanta, Georgia; and his sister, Martha Rhodes Hayes of DeLand. He was predeceased by his parents, Joshua and Ruth, his wife, Emily Sewell Rhodes, his daughter-in-law, Fredia Roberts Rhodes, and his brother-in-law, William C. Hayes. A memorial service honoring Vann's life will be held at the DeLand First United Methodist Church at 2 PM on October 1, 2011. Interment will be at the family graveyard in North Carolina later on. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to honor Vann is encouraged to make a donation to the DeLand First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, 115 East Howry Avenue, DeLand, FL 32724, or to the Gideons International, P.O. Box 741102, Orange City, FL 32774-1102, or another worthy cause of the donor's choice. You may share your memories with the family at www.lankfordfuneralhome.com. Lankford Funeral Home in DeLand is in charge of arrangements.

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Funeral Home
Lankford Funeral Homes & Crematory
220 E. New York Ave. Deland, FL 32724
(386) 734-2244
Funeral Home Details
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Sept. 22, 2011
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