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B: 1976-09-09
D: 2021-01-14
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1010 S. White Street
P.O. Box 99
ATHENS, TN 37371-0099
Phone: 423-745-3013
Fax: 423-745-7733
Melissa Rhodes

Melissa Elizabeth Rhodes

Thursday, September 9th, 1976 - Thursday, January 14th, 2021
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On January 14th 2021, the light of Melissa Elizabeth Rhodes joined the heavens.
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.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Smith Funeral & Cremation Service of Athens
    1010 S. White Street
    ATHENS, TN 37303
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 | 2:00pm
    Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 2:00pm
    Cedar Grove Cemetery
    Hill Street
    ATHENS, TN 37303
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Cedar Grove Cemetery
    Hill Street
    ATHENS, TN 37303
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Sam Roberts

Posted at 07:01am
Stella and I send heartfelt condolences, in the wake of Melissa’s passing. What a light she’s been, and is still, albeit now, from a different vantage point. And what a generous and loving life she lived - and lives still - epitomizing the Love of Christ in so many, many ways, large and small, and always. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. (Sam and Stella Roberts)

Max & Juanita Scarbrough

Posted at 04:11pm
We are so sorry for the loss of Melissa. She was a wonderful person. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Linda Smith

Posted at 04:07pm
So much love to you. Judy Sullins

Mary Ann Penley

Posted at 11:42am
Larry and Kathy we are so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter Melissa. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers.
Ron and Mary Ann Penley
Nick Penley

William McDonald

Posted at 07:22pm
Prayers and condolences for you in this time of sorrow from the McDonald family.

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