Keith Houtz Rhodes, 87, of Winneconne, Wis., passed into the arms of our Lord on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, surrounded by family.
He was born Feb. 19, 1925, in Havre, Mont., the son of Leroy Ellsworth Rhodes and Jeanne Marie (Maris) Rhodes. He was a 1943 graduate of Havre High School and was immediately selected for the Navy’s rigorous V12 program, attending the Montana School of Mines and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He accepted his Navy commission in 1945 when called to active duty. Upon returning from active duty in 1946, he married his college sweetheart, Doris Jean Hansche, on Aug. 24, 1946. Keith completed his undergraduate work in January 1947 and then received a master’s in mechanical engineering in 1949.
Keith spent several years in Racine, working at first for American Motors and then for Walker Manufacturing in the the internal combustion engine group. He then moved his family to Winneconne in 1968 to become the chief engineer at Case. Finally in 1978 he established KHORD, a successful engineering consulting venture. In retirement, he pursued his passion as an engineer, historian and astrophysicist writing many books and articles on the subject.
As a dedicated member of the Racine community, he helped to found the Village of Elmwood Park, was the superintendent of Sunday Schools at Christ Church Methodist in Racine, was an active member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and presided over the taxpayers association. In Winneconne he served several terms as president of the Indian Shores Association where he focused on bettering the neighborhood and surrounding waterways.
Keith was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Doris Jean; his parents, Leroy and Jeanne; his brother, Cecil; and his sister, Doris.
Keith is survived by his two daughters, Cheri Jeanne (Richard) Vaughn of Naples, Fla., and Lesley Ann (Michael) Stewart of Escanaba, Mich. ; and his son, Brian Keith (Leslee Schneider) Rhodes of Winchester, Wis. ; seven grandchildren, Christopher (Kim) Nance of Phoenix, Ariz., Jason (Michaela) Nance of Dallas, Texas, Taniquelle Thurner of Green Bay, Wis., Kelly Thurner of Naples, Fla., Jeffrey Thurner of Madison, Wis., James (Abby) Stewart, and Jacquelyn Stewart, of Escanaba, Mich. ; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p. m., Sunday, March 4, 2012, at the Mueller Funeral Home, 904 E. Main St., in Winneconne, Wis. Funeral services celebrating Keith’s life will be held at noon, Monday, March 5, 2012, with a visitation one hour preceding the service at the Mueller Funeral Home. The Rev. Glenn Wagner, Keith’s nephew, will officiate.
Please submit online condolences to www.muellerfuneralhomeinc.com.