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William “Doug” Rodes

November 29, 1923 - November 19, 2017
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Funeral service for Mr. William Douglas “Doug” Rodes, age 93, of Fayetteville, TN, will be conducted Saturday, November 25, 2017, at 10 AM at Higgins Funeral Home with Buddy and Dee Edwards and Aubrey and Raina Generose officiating. Burial will follow in Old Orchard Cemetery. Mr. Rodes passed away on November 19, 2017 at Bailey Manor.

William Douglas “Doug” Rodes was born on November 29, 1923 at the Dysart home place in Richmond, Bedford County, TN. His parents were the late James Elbert and Eva Dysart Rodes. About a year later the family moved to Nashville, TN where his father was a farm manager for three years. The family then moved back to the Rodes Farm on the Petersburg-Richmond road in Marshall County. The home there had been built in 1916 by William Clay Rodes (grandfather of Doug).

Doug grew up on the farm and lived there until he entered the Navy in August 1943. His parents had welcomed two more boys in the meantime. Tragedy struck the family in 1941 when their mother died suddenly. The boy’s father managed to keep the family together by hiring a housekeeper that lived in the home and took care of Doug and his younger brothers.

Doug volunteered for the Navy rather than waiting to be drafted. He thought it might give him a better opportunity to learn a trade while in the Navy. It meant going ahead into the service, thus missing his senior year of high school. His intentions were to go to a trade school in the Navy and earn sufficient credits for completing high school. This is why Doug’s high school diploma consists of a 3 x 5 card signed by Mr. Earnest Baulch stating he had completed high school.

After three years in the Navy serving as an electrician about a LST (Landing Ship Tanks) in both the Atlantic and the Pacific fleets, Doug returned home.

At Morgan, Doug met and courted a very special girl. The two kept in touch while Doug was in the Navy. Lolaine Meeker (Lainey) went to the University of Tennessee which she finished high school and then joined her parents and sister who had moved back to Iowa. One of the first tasks after Doug returned home was to arrange a trip to Iowa to see Lainey and hopefully make plans for getting married.

It all worked out and Doug and Lainey were married September of 1946. They lived in Oak Ridge, TN, where Doug’s dad, step-mother and family lived. Doug worked in security at the Oak Ridge facility until they moved to Tennessee Tech in Cookeville where he started college in January 1947. During the three years there earning a degree in Electrical Engineering, their two daughters were born.

After college, the family moved to Iowa where Doug joined Lainey’s father in the Ford agency in Mt. Vernon. He worked there until he obtained a job at Collins Radio in nearby Cedar Rapids. Doug worked there for 37 years, helping design and build communication equipment for the military.

After Doug’s retirement from Collins, he and Lainey decided to return to Tennessee and reside in Fayetteville. Soon after moving there both of them became involved in the Morgan Reunion. They helped compile Morgan history and restore the graduating class pictures of Morgan and Petersburg High School. They also helped the Lincoln County Genealogy Society with yard sales, refurbishing their building, etc.

The Alumni Association bought two acres of the Morgan campus and deeded the land to the City of Petersburg for a park. In 1993, the alumni built a pavilion on the property for use each year for a reunion and for use by anyone the rest of the time. In 1994, the museum and restrooms were built near the pavilion. Each year Doug and Lainey helped with the reunion.

Survivors include his wife and high school sweetheart, Lolaine “Lainey” Meeker Rodes; daughters, Eva Gail Dahm (Mary Zadrozny) of Naperville, IL and Rebecca Rodes Dietrich (Roe); grandchildren, Aubrey Dietrich Generose (Philip) and Doug Dietrich (Kim Terrell); great-granddaughter, Raina Generose; brother, James E. Rodes, Jr. (Lois); sister-in-law, Millie Rodes; three half brothers; and one half sister. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, William “Bill” Rodes. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the folks of Bailey Manor.

Visitation with the family will be held Friday, November 24, 2017, at 4 PM until 7 PM and Higgins Funeral Home. Higgins is honored to be serving the family of Mr. William Douglas Rodes.

Schedule of Services
  • Visitation
  • Date: November 24, 2017
    Time: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Service
  • Date: November 25, 2017
    Time: 10:00 AM