Helen Marie Rhoads was born February 21, 1934, to John and Margaret Long McBee.
She passed this life on September 26, 2022, at her home in Decherd, TN.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Buford Rhoads; brothers, Hubert, Edward, Thurman, Earl, and John Thomas (J.T.) McBee; sisters, Gertrude McBee, Reba Derrick, and Ruby Craig.
She moved with her parents to the Prairie Plains Community, Hillsboro, TN, when she was about twelve years old where she attended school and was on the basketball team.
When she was fifteen, she became a Christian and was baptized into the Prairie Plains Baptist Church in the creek near the church. She served in several positions over the years teaching children’s classes, Bible School Director, WMU, and singing in the choir. She loved the children and would sometimes take them to the Dairy Queen for a special treat of hamburgers.
Helen loved to cook and often cooked something special and sent it to the elderly in the community. Men who helped on the farm could count on a deliciously prepared lunch. She was well known for her fresh coconut cakes.
She married Buford Rhoads in May of 1954 when he returned from the Army. Years later they moved to the McBee Farm. They were not blessed with children of their own but kept children while the mothers worked. Her nephew, Clayton, lived much of his life in her home and on the farm. She leaves behind several nieces and nephews and was always concerned about their health and welfare.
Helen and Buford farmed and milked cows while J.T. worked at public works. She, with help from Buford and J.T. plowing and watering, raised some very productive gardens selling and giving away many vegetables. Her house was always beautifully decorated, and her yard displayed gorgeous flowers of all kinds, but roses and day lilies were her favorite. She contributed financially with the proceeds from her beautifully hand made queen and baby quilts. None could compare with her stitching.
She took care of her mother, Buford, and J.T. as long as they lived. Following Buford’s death, she moved to Decherd. In later years many relatives and friends helped Helen and J.T.
Her niece and great-niece, Patsy and Brianna Craig, have helped her maintain as good a quality of life as possible by purchasing and preparing medications, doctor’s visits, groceries, preparing meals, putting her to bed at night, and anything she needed or wanted. With the exception of hospital stays, Patsy stayed with her every night for six years. She and Brianna recently brought her home with Hospice and cared for her to the end.
Funeral services for Helen will be conducted at 11:00AM on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at Manchester Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Prairie Plains Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00PM until 8:00PM on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at the funeral home.
Manchester Funeral Home is honored to serve the Rhoads family.