Born in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado on July 15, 1921, Dale Robert Rhoades was the only child of J. L. (Dusty) and Earnestine Anderson Rhoades. A ranching family, his paternal grandparents moved to eastern Colorado in the 1880's. His father was a manager for the J. C. Penny Company and the nature of that job kept the family on the move for a number of years. Dale started school in Kenneth, Missouri, his middle school years were spent in San Marcos, Texas and he graduated from high school in Abilene, Texas in 1938.
During his senior year of high school, Dale's mother died. At that point he rededicated himself to become a doctor, a decision he had originally made when he was just 12 years old. After graduating from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, his father decided Dale should work for a while before entering medical school since he was "still wet behind the ears." Dale convinced the Health Department of San Antonio to create a new position on the City Water Board. At the age of 19, Dale started his first professional job.
After Dale was secure in his first job, he married Ruth Boger whom he had met at Hardin-Simmons University. The wedding took place in San Antonio in 1941, just before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Dale entered medical school in the spring of 1943 at the University of Texas at Galveston. During war time, both his education and his military service were speeded up. Three years and one month from beginning medical school, he became DOCTOR Rhoades and was discharged from the Army on March 1, 1946.
Dr. Rhoades did his internship at Philadelphia General Hospital. After completing these requirements he joined the staff of the newly built Crosbyton Clinic Hospital on September 13, 1947.Dr. Rhoades had two children. Dale Robert Rhoades, Jr. was born in Galveston while his father was in medical school. Pamela Jane was born in August 1948 just after her parents settled in Crosbyton. For the first 20 years of his medical career, Dr. Rhoades delivered babies ? probably more that the current population of the town of Crosbyton! "I delivered over 3,000 children in the first 20 years of practice," he once recalled. "I enjoyed this very much even though the babies were never cooperative about their arrival times. I decided to quit obstetrics when I started delivering children to the children I had first delivered. I was too old to deliver another generation and I couldn't deliver babies all night and keep up my other practice during the daytime."
In 1983, Dr. Rhoades married the Former Margie Moss Wiley who shares his loved and devotion for Crosbyton. They participated in many community and civic activities in and around Crosbyton and, when time permitted, managed to travel extensively before and after Dr. Rhoades was forced to retire following an accident in Mexico.
Dr. Rhoades was always an avid sports fan and a great supported of youth. He was the donor for the Dale R. Rhoades, M. D. annual scholarship for the outstanding athletes from Crosbyton High School. He admitted that his "finest hour" was probably serving the local football team as "team doctor," watching many of the athletes he brought into the world compete and "patching them up" after the game. At one time while attending a game between Ralls and Crosbyton, Dr. Rhoades was looking over the program and was overheard to say, "Well I'll be darned. I delivered nearly every one of those players on the football field!" An old program lists Dale Rhoades himself as a 135 pound left end player for the San Marcos Rattlers in the junior year of high school.
In 1985, Dr. Rhoades was selected by the "Who's Who Historical Society of Texas to be a member of "Who's Who In Texas." In 1993, Dr. Rhoades was nominated to receive "The Country Doctor of the Year Award" by the staff at Crosbyton Clinic Hospital. He also received the Crosbyton Chamber of Commerce's "Outstanding Citizen in 1965" and "Citizen Through the Years" award in 1981. He was twice honored as "Physician of the Day" for the Texas Legislature and introduced in the Senate by Senator John Montford, and in the House by both Speaker Gib Lewis and Speaker Pete Laney.
Dr. Rhoades has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Lion's Club. He was appointed by Secretary of State Mark White to the State Drug Abuse Advisory Council. He is one of the founding fathers of the White River Lake Water Board. Other orders and societies to which he belonged are: Lubbock-Crosby-Garza- County Medical Society; Texas Academy of Family Physicians; Life Member of American Medical Association; Diplomat of the board of American Board of Family Practice; and Boy Scouts of America.
On many occasions, Dr. Rhoades took advantage of teaching moments with hospital staff by instructing, "When you feel you have done as much for the patient as you would do for your own family, then you have done enough." He made no differentiation between patients and friends, he just referred to his patients as "friends who need a little medical help." It was not uncommon to find him in the hospital, in the middle of the night, sitting at the bedside on one of his patients. Even after Medicare paid for only one visit a day, Dr. Rhoades continued to make hospital rounds twice each day to make sure his patients were progressing and to ensure he was doing all he could to make them comfortable. Dr. Rhoades had little time in the 50 years he practiced at Crosbyton Clinic Hospital for hobbies. He felt he was fortunate that "he loved what he did and did what he loved." In his spare time he could be found watching sports on TV and if he was not "on call" and a patient called him, he would say, "Just come on by the house and I'll take a look at it." He was good to his patients and his patients were good to him. If the phone rang during a Cowboys game or a University of Texas game, he knew it was an emergency as everyone, including hospital personnel, knew his habits and would not disturb him until half-time unless it was necessary. To his friends and patients alike, Dr. Rhoades readily volunteered, "I wouldn't change my profession nor my home if I could relive my life. I look forward to each day."
In September 1997, the community and the hospital gathered to celebrate Dr. Rhoades 50 years of service. Shortly after that celebration, Dr. Rhoades was in an accident while vacationing in Mexico and sustained an injury which made retirement necessary.
Dr. Rhoades passed away Saturday, September 4, 2004 evening at Autumn House in Idalou with Margie by his side.
Dr. Rhoades loved his family and his family loved him. Survivors include his wife, Margie Rhoades of Crosbyton, his son, Rob Rhoades of Lubbock, his daughter, Pam Davis of Abilene, his two stepsons; Scott Wiley of Aurora, Colorado and Jay Wiley of Lubbock. Also surviving are his grandchildren Russ Rhoades, Missy Widder, Melinda Bacon, Micky Brewer, Abi Rhoades, Becca Rhoades, Sarah Rhoades, Adam Wiley and Tye Wiley and his eight great grandchildren.
Visitation is scheduled from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Monday, September 6, 2004 at Adams Funeral Home in Crosbyton. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM Wednesday, September 8, 2004 at the Crosbyton First United Methodist Church with Rev. Karan Young and Cecil Davis officiating. A private burial will be in Crosbyton Cemetery.
Obituary courtesy of Adams Funeral Home
Memorial services for Dale R. Rhoades, M.D., 83, of Crosbyton will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2004, at the Crosbyton First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Karan Young and Cecil Davis officiating. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Adams Funeral Home of Crosbyton.
Dr. Rhoades passed away Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004, in Idalou. Dale Robert Rhoades was born to James Lewis and Ernestine Rhoades on July 15, 1921 in Cheyenne Wells, Colo. He showed exceptional promise at an early age and graduated from Abilene High School at 15 years of age. Dale's mother died of a heart defect when he was a teenager, which inspired him to become a doctor.
He completed his bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons University shortly thereafter. After completing medical school at the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Rhoades moved to Crosbyton on Sept. 13, 1947. As a humble man who believed that he was an instrument of God, Dr. Rhoades said that being a doctor was a privilege that commanded great responsibility. Dr. Rhoades had a passion for medicine as evident by his care of his patients.
Many nights, Dr. Rhoades would wait patiently for the arrival of a young couple's baby. One of his greatest joys was delivering babies. He had the opportunity to deliver over 3,000 babies. From the opposite perspective, he would sit patiently comforting family members as a loved one passed from this life to another. Dr. Rhoades was not only a wonderful physician, but he was a community leader.
He served on many civic committees and devoted himself to helping Crosbyton become a thriving community. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and was instrumental in helping plan and build the sanctuary. He was very active in the Lion's Club as well. Dr. Rhoades had great insight about the future and the things necessary to continue to have a progressive town. He was a very gentle man, who was gracious at all times.
Even in his latter years, when his health began to fail, he exhibited that grace. He would always extend a hand of greeting and a smile to make people feel accepted and loved. His sweet spirit is remembered by everyone. He was a jewel given to us by God. He showed the grace of love of his Savior and is at home with Him today.
Dr. Rhoades is survived by his wife, Margie, who stood by his side for over 21 years. He is also survived by a son, Dale Robert (Bob) Rhoades Jr. and his wife, Ann Marie, of Lubbock; a daughter, Pamela Jane Davis and her husband, Cecil, of Abilene.
He is also survived by two stepsons, who grew to loved him as a dad, Scott Wiley and his wife, Jackie, of Aurora, Colo., and Jay Wiley and his wife, Pam, of Lubbock. He and Margie have nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In 1997, Dr. Rhoades was featured in an article in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, where he was asked how he would like to be remembered. He wanted to be remembered by one sentence, "He cared." This is a very true and accurate statement.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Crosbyton Senior Citizens, 119 N. Berkshire, Crosbyton, Texas 79322.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Tuesday, September 7, 2004
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