HORACE RHODES

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November 24, 1927 to January 1, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY In Loving Memory Months after Horace died his handwritten obituary was found. We offer it here not to remind you that he died, but so you remember that he lived.Horace Gibson Rhodes was born Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1927 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK to Nell Bailess Gibson and Horace Gannaway Rhodes who died in a Tuberculosis sanatorium when Horace was twelve. His mother worked as a secretary and later went to law school at night while working as a law clerk for USCA Judge Alfred P. Murrah. Horace spent a great deal of time with his maternal grandparents in Wellston, Oklahoma which he always felt had a singular positive effect on his life. In 1936 he attended Villa Theresa School as a boarder for three years and then two years at a boarding school in Muskogee. He then attended Wellston High School, Oklahoma City Central High School and graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1945. He spent a total of four years in the Army Air Force and subsequently the newly created US Air Force during three separate tours of duty. He left active duty in what was then French Morocco in July of 1953 as a 1st Lieutenant. Horace attended the University of Oklahoma between 1945 and 1953 interspersed with his military service. He graduated with a degree in Fianance in 1950 and a law degree in 1955. He served as General Counsel and 1st Assistant Insurance Commissioner for three years. While in this position, he rewrote the insurance laws of Oklahoma which are still in use today. He became Secretary Treasurer of the newly formed United Founders Life Insurance Company in December of 1958 and was elected President in 1959. During his time with United Founders, he was instrumental in building the Founders Tower. In 1966 he formed a consulting company specializing in the merger and acquisition of insurance companies. In 1972 he joined the law firm in which he was still a partner, Kerr Irvine Rhodes & Ables. He served on corporate and advisory boards as well as governmental commissions too numerous to mention. He was also the Secretary of the Association of Oklahoma Life Insurance Companies for thirty years as well as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Oklahoma Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association.At the time of his death, he was married to his second wife, Jane Robinson Rhodes (he often said the best thing he ever did was to marry twice) and served proudly on the board of LSB Industries, a NYSE company located in Oklahoma City. He was a long term friend of Bill W. He was a member of the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club for over fifty years. (Prior to membership, he once worked flipping hamburgers at the pool snack shack.) He was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral.Horace was preceded in death by his parents, numerous aunts and uncles and his first wife, Jeanne Harreld Rhodes. He is survived by his second wife Jane Robinson Rhodes, his son James and his wife Jeannie of Norman, Oklahoma, his daughter Laura Rhodes Heiser and her husband Greg of Norman, Oklahoma and his daughter Rebecca Rhodes and her long-time companion Brad Smith of Nashville, Tennessee.

Published in The Oklahoman on Feb. 23, 2014
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