Facts and Events
||Ernest Francis RHODES
||13 AUG 1912
||Coffeyville, Montgomery Co., KS
||20 OCT 1930
||Howard, Elk Co., KSto Eunice Opal ANDREWS
||Topeka, Shawnee Co., KSPersonal Hist.
||27 JUN 1997
||Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS
||25 OCT 1997
||Ashes Buried, Howard, Elk, KS
Written by Eunice Rhodes, date unknown.
Ernest Rhodes, graduated from Howard High School, Howard, Kansas. He attended Coyne Radio and Electrical and Radio School in Chicago, Ill.
When he was in high school he helped his Dad in the trucking business. Later he worked as a serviceman for electric appliance repair, mostly radios and refrigerators, at Stewart Warner in Wichita, Kansas.
During the Second World War he worked for Aero Parts, and the government at Boeing Airplane Plant in Wichita, Kansas. (Federal Civil Service)
Later he traveled through Western Kansas as a salesman for Richards Conover Hardware Company. Next he managed the Appliance Department of Harmon Furniture Company in Hutchinson, Kansas.
In 1950 he moved to Topeka, Kansas, with his family, to manage the appliance department of Emahizer-Spielman Furniture Company. In Topeka he also worked for Ed Marling Furniture Company, Mosby-Mack Ford, and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
For 10 years he worked in Kansas City, Missouri for General Serviced Administration, maintaining his home in Topeka, he drove to and from Kansas City each day. At present - January 1976 he is working for a division of the U. S. Post Office in Topeka, Kansas. (Federal Civil Service)
Ernest Rhodes, dropped the “a” from his name when he was a teenager. Since then he made it legal that he is the same person as Ernest Francis Rhoades.
Grant Grandfather Daniel Ernest Rhoades was a farmer - out of Coffeyville or Independence, KS. After he moved to Howard he was in the trucking business.
Obituary - TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL, Sunday, June 29, 1997
Ernest F. "Dusty" Rhodes
Ernest F. "Dusty" Rhodes, 84, Topeka, died Friday, June 27, 1997 at a Topeka hospital.
Mr. Rhodes worked with heating and air conditioning with the General Service Administration in Kansas City, Mo., until he retired in 1980. He also was a former supervisor of radio and electrical armament for the Army Air Corps on B-29 Aircraft at Boeing in Wichita during World War II.
He was born Aug. 13, 1912, in Coffeyville, the son of Daniel Ernest Rhoades and Alice Mable Livingston.
He was graduated from Howard High School, and he attended Coyne Electrical School in Chicago.
He was married to Eunice Andrews on Oct. 20, 1930, in Howard. She died Dec. 26, 1994. Mr. Rhodes also was preceded in death by a daughter, Dorothea Jean Rhodes, in 1940.
Survivors include two daughters, Sharon Smith, Topeka, and Kathie Stovall, Lawrence; two sons, Frank Ernest Rhodes, San Bernardino, Calif., and John Charles Rhodes, Lincoln, Neb.; a sister Clara B. Rhoades,
Topeka; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
No services are scheduled. Inurnment will be at a later date at Grace Lawn Cemetery in Howard. Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary - June 29, 1997 LAWRENCE JOURNAL WORLD
No services are planned for Ernest F. "Dusty" Rhodes, 84, Topeka.
Mr. Rhodes died Friday, June 27, 1997, at a Topeka hospital. He was cremated. Inurnment will be at a later date at Grace Lawn Cemetery, Howard.
He was born Aug. 13, 1912, in Coffeyville, the son of Daniel Ernest Rhoades and Alice Mabel Livingston.
He graduated from Howard High School and attended Coyne Electronic School in Chicago.
He was a supervisor of radio and electrical armament for the Army Air Force on B-29 aircraft at Boeing in Wichita during World War II.
He worked with heating and air conditioning at the General Service Administration in Kansas City, Mo. He retired in 1980.
He had lived in Topeka since 1951.
He married Eunice Andrews on Oct. 20, 1930, in Howard. She died Dec. 26, 1994.
A daughter, Dorothea Jean Rhodes, died in 1940.
Survivors include two daughters, Sharon Smith, Topeka, and Kathie Stovall, Lawrence; two sons, Frank, San Bernardino, Calif., and John, Lincoln, Neb.; a sister, Clara Rhoades, Topeka; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Howard, KS, buried ashes with short service. Bill Redmond hosted us for lunch at the cafe. Buck Snodderley, and Craig's family were there also.
By Sharon Smith
I can remember, when Dad retired, having to get a paper notarized by his mother that he was the same "Ernest Rhodes" that appeared on his birth certificate "Ernest Rhoades" As a teenager he dropped the "a" from his name. He said it was because the generations before didn’t have it.
Taken from biography Ernest wrote in 1986.
I think I was about 5 years old when World War I ended. Uncle Al Livingston, my Grandmother and Grandfather LIvingston, Mother, Dad and Uncle Al's girl friend rode in the Armistice Day Parade in Coffeyville, Kansas, Uncle Al go the new Studebaker from his boss. Mr. Fred Etchison, the dealer. It was a 9 passenger touring car, 3 in the front seat, 4 in the back seat and two jump seats that came out of the back of the front seat.
The parade was very noisy, with car horns honking, people tooting horns, bells ringing, etc. My Grandad got a bell to ring, I think it was a cow bell and I rode on a jump seat behind Grandad and he helped me ring the bell.
Working and Adventures
In the spring of 1938 we were at a showing of new products at the Stewart Warner factory in Chicago Ill. At a Service Manager's meeting the Chief Engineer, Max Schanke, asked the question, "What does the average family want most in a new refrigerator?" A Service Manager from the Dallas, Texas area said, "They want a larger freezer, possibly to go all the way across the box." I said, "Yes, and it should be in the bottom of the box." The chief engineer said, "Good, you two are to stay over and build one." We used standard parts and had lots of help from the regular people in the experimental shop. It was a real thrill in 1939 to see a new line that I had helped design. Before we left the factory the Chief Engineer called me into the office and aksed me to fill out a job application blank, saying, "Fill this out I think I need you here with me." I filled it out and went on a tour of the Radio Assembly section of the factory. When we returned, the Engineer was waiting, he said, "I'm sorry but I wish you had at least 6 months of college, they won't let me hire anyone without some college work. I know you have the knowledge for both Radio and Refrigeration, but that's the way it is."
While I was working at Boeing for Midwest Procurement District, Wichita, KS, we had an entirely different airplane come through for inspection and testing. It had no guns but a regular bomb bay and the Norden Bomb Sight. Everyone was curioius about what it was, I asked the Colonel and he said he thought it was a tanker, I asked, "Why the Bomb Sight?" He just winked and said, "We are not supposed to know what it is, just make it the best one you can, it has a very special job to do." Before delivery the Colonel came out and said, "Boeing would be out to load it with a blockbuster shell, filled with sand and we would test drop it at some range." I noticed the shell was shopped by truck from New Mexico, the newspapers were full of atomic tests in New Mexico. I put the facts together and decided we had the shell for an Atomic bomb. I dropped it out at 43,500 feet over a little shack I picked up on radar about 75 miles southwest of El Paso, Texas. I missed it about 1/2 of a mile but the Colonel said, "That is close enough." We delivered the plane to a special crew at an airbase in California.
After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima I saw the numbers on the plane and compared them with the numbers on the plane we had flown, they matched. The Colonel said, "He was especilly proud that we had such a part in this plane--the Enola Gay.
After the war I worked as manager of the housewares department in three different furniture stores, one in Hutchinson, KS and two in Topeka, KS. In betwen I sold cars, and worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., as an electrician.
I worked for the General service Administration in Kansas City, MO, as Maintenance & Operations Engineer, for 9 years (at night), driving from Topeka every working day. From there I transferred to the Postal Data Center in Topeka, KS where I was an Engineman for 4 years, retiring at that time.