He was born on Dec. 28, 1930, at Tampa, Kan., to Harry W. and Lillie (Hegle) Rhodes. He grew up on the family ranch near Tampa and attended country schools. He graduated from Durham High School in 1948.
He married Marilyn Peterson on Sept. 10, 1950, at Lost Springs. They later divorced.
Shorty worked at the family ranch and drove a truck for his brother, Preston, and he also worked at the Marion County Co-op in Durham. In 1954, he worked for the Oliver Corp. in its Wichita warehouse and traveled on the road for its service department. In 1959, he went to work for Holfer Farm Equipment until spring 1961.
On June 1, 1961, he bought the operating authority of Rhodes Truck Service from his brother and operated the truck line until selling it in 1972. Shorty started Wichita Southeast Kansas Transit and began operations on Dec. 1, 1968. In 1975, he moved to Parsons along with the general offices of the company from Wichita. He operated the company until he sold his interest in 1985. Shorty resided in Parsons and Durham for a few years and helped his brothers on the ranch until their deaths.
Shorty loved to travel, and taking cruises was his favorite form of traveling. He also enjoyed dancing and people. One of Shorty’s dislikes was when there was negative talk about people. He would say, “I can’t talk about someone’s housekeeping for as I’m not that good of a housekeeper myself.”
He always felt that worrying about a problem will not accomplish anything, but a decision and doing something would. Sometimes the right decision wasn’t always made, but at least you had a different problem.
His survivors include two sons, Lester “Pete” Rhodes, and his wife, Connie, of rural Parsons and Lee Rhodes, and his wife, Shirlee, of Reno, Nev.; his daughter, Kay “Winnie” Hilger, and her husband, Mike Habermehl, of Wichita; his longtime companion, Nancy Woodward of Parsons and her sons, Dusty and Wes Woodward; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Geneva Brouhard of Andover and JoAnn Madsen of Hiawatha; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by seven brothers and three sisters.
The service will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 29, 2012, at Center Bethel Church. Burial will be later in College Hill Cemetery near Tampa. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice or to the Parsons Elks Club and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, 112 N. 26th St., P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.