On January 14th 2021, the light of Melissa Elizabeth Rhodes joined the heavens.
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Born on September 9th, 1976, she was a lifelong resident of Athens, Tennessee.
A graduate of McMinn Central High School and Hiwasee College. She was employed as a Special Education Assistant for fourteen years at Englewood and E.K. Baker Elementary schools until her retirement due to health issues.
She served as a volunteer for many charitable organizations. As an assistant for the McMinn County Junior Miss pageant for twenty years, she was the only girl to receive the Honorary Spirit Award in the program’s history.
She served at Keith United Methodist Church in the Children’s Ministry, Vacation Bible School, and Children’s Sunday School for over twenty years.
She was also an assistant for the Relay for Life as a cancer survivor herself.
Despite numerous medical challenges, she never lost her positive attitude, and once told her father - “I am lucky to have lived this long.”
She is survived by her loving family.
Parent, Larry and Kathy Rhodes of Athens, Tennessee.Brother, Bobby Rhodes of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Uncle and Aunt, Chuck and Judy Rhodes of Morehead City, North Carolina.
Aunt, Maura Mize of Lake Charles Louisiana.
Cousins, Matt and Leslie Mize of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Meghan and Justin Sylvester of Austin, Texas, and Fonda Rhodes of Morehead City, North Carolina.
Special friends, Cayce Crofts, Jane Flowers, CindyMistal, Deanna Hewitt, Diana Fields, Julie Carmen, and her special furry friend Finn.
She was preceded in death by her Uncle Joe Mize of Lake Charles Louisiana, grandparents Bob and Gladys Mize, and Raymond and Mary Rhodes of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Anyone who knew Melissa, loved her and was loved back.
Melissa had many physical limitations, but no one had a better, caring heart.
Take the light that she brought into this world and carry it with you, so that others may know the love that she showed all of us.
A graveside service will be conducted, 2:00 pm, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Cedar Grove Cemetery with Rev. David Graybeal and Rev. Mike Dannel officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 11:00am-1:00pm Tuesday prior to the graveside service.
Pallbearers will be JB and Ronnie Mize, Dr. Shelly Griffith, Steve Burris, Wesley Kite, Ben Finch, Mike Dannel, and Joe Mishtal.
The family requests that everyone wear a mask for your protection and ours.