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Friday, June 14, 2024

Isham Lee Rhoden Jr.

Isham Lee Rhoden Jr.
Isham Lee Rhoden Jr.

Isham Lee Rhoden Jr., age 85, of Ocala, Florida passed away on Thursday, May 9th with his family by his side. He was born in Gulf Hammock, FL on February 20th, 1939, and lived in Ocala most of his life.

He enlisted in the Florida National Guard in 1959 and served as a soldier, noncommissioned officer and commissioned officer over a 30-year career. He was generally assigned to infantry, armor and cavalry units, and he retired in 1989 at the rank of Captain.

In civilian life, he was a printer by trade and became a small business owner. In 1973, he began teaching graphic arts at Forest High School and was an outstanding role model and mentor to hundreds of students until his retirement from the Marion County School System in 2006.

He was a shameless extrovert with a quick wit and kind heart who would talk to anyone about anything. He embodied the notion that “a stranger was just a friend you hadn’t met” which was a good thing because he apparently found it easier to find new friends than new jokes and stories to tell them. His favorite pastime was poker night with his friends which was more about socializing and laughing than playing cards. A close second was fishing, and he loved the sport whether he was catching the big ones or just spending quiet mornings on the water drowning a few worms.

He is survived by his wife Cornelia Holmes Rhoden, his son Gregory (Diane) Rhoden, his stepchildren John (Holli) Holmes, and Holly (Warren Schweitzer) Love, grandchildren Grady, Max and Emily Holmes, nephew Andrew Wilson Morrison, Jr., and nieces Holly Morrison Breaux and Heather Morrison. He was preceded in death by his late wife Joyce, his parents Isham Lee Rhoden Sr. and Mary Eleanor Howell Rhoden, and his sister Barbara Joan Rhoden Morrison.

He will be interred at a family graveside service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ocala followed by a memorial service held at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services in Ocala at a later date.