With deepest sorrow we regret to announce the sudden passing of Gayle Emery Rhoades of Greenville, Ohio. He was 85 years old.
Gayle’s love and knowledge of airplanes and piloting high in the sky is how he is most remembered by his family and friends.
He built on his love of flying by training and acquiring his Private Pilot’s License. He added the Instrument Rating (IFR) and Multi-Engine rating, Ground School, Instrument Instructor, and Commercial Pilot’s License. Most notable, he soon became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
He became the Flight Instructor at the Darke County Airport in Versailles, Ohio remaining there for decades. During this time, he had the opportunity to instruct countless students so they too could acquire a private pilot’s license. During his years of flying and instructing, he has made lifelong friends and memories. He was a past member of the E.A.A. (Experimental Aircraft Association).
Gayle was an avid story teller and enjoyed repeating those stories. Many about flying and farming to anyone he met. Especially his children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. Gayle grew up on the family farm outside of Gettysburg, Ohio and was passionate about the industry including tractor history. To this day, he still owns his 1956 International 300 Utility purchased in 1958.
Gayle is an Alumni of Gettysburg High School, Class of 1956 and served in the Army as a Tank Operator. After his discharge, he obtained his Certified Flight Instructor’s License with the G.I. Bill. Eventually, he was given the opportunity to be the corporate pilot for Agra Erectors, Inc. and was employed there for 30+ years, wearing many hats, including Crane Operator.
Preceded in death by his mother, Cleata (Puterbaugh) Rhoades and his father, Lester Rhoades.
Gayle is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara (Boyer) Rhoades. His children and grandchildren, Jody Rhoades, her daughter, Mackenzie Cantrell of Arcanum, OH. Marc Rhoades, wife, Tiffany (Stedman) Rhoades and their children, Madelynn Rhoades and Quinn Rhoades of Brookville, Ohio. His Sister and her husband, Sandra (Rhoades) Meeks & Howard Meeks, Brother and his wife, Fred Rhoades & Diane (Boyer) Rhoades, and his sister, Nancy (Rhoades) Thiebeau. Joel Puterbaugh & wife, Melinda (Fine) Puterbaugh along with nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and dear friends.
Funeral Service 11:00 AM Monday, September 18th at Frieden’s Lutheran Church, Bradford, Ohio with Pastor Ippy Mwakabonga officiating. Interment at Frieden’s Lutheran Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Veterans Elite Tribute Squad. Visitation will be held 2-5 PM Sunday at Stocker-Fraley Funeral Home, Bradford and again 10 AM until time of service at the church. Condolences may be left for the family at www.stockerfraley.com.
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”