Pastor Christopher Ron Rhodes, 50, of 7559 Clymer-Center Road, Panama, N.Y., entered Jesus’ presence on March 28, 2020, at Select Specialty Care Hospital, Erie, Pa., after suffering complications from the flu on Feb. 8, 2020. He fought the good fight but took his last breath surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on Nov. 24, 1969, in Corry, Pa., a son of the late Ronald H. Rhodes and the Rev. Jacqueline Rhodes of Clymer, N.Y.
Christopher loved the Lord and was Pastor of Fentonville United Methodist Church for the past 15 years. He loved and cherished his church family. He also worked for Home Depot in Erie, Pa., and Lakewood, N.Y. for 20 years as an expeditor. He was awarded Expeditor of the Year in 2014. He was a member of Stephen Ministries. Chris was also a big sports fan. He was a very loyal Dallas Cowboys fan for 45 years. He was a founding member of the Clymer Rotisserie Fantasy Baseball leagues for 36 years, the longest running fantasy leagues in the country. He enjoyed going to the movies, eating at restaurants, watching sporting events and taking trips to Gettysburg and Disney World. He enjoyed celebrating family reunions with his uncles, aunts and cousins. One of his greatest loves was helping raise Lilyanna Hamm and being her father figure. He also loved playing games and spending time with his nephews and nieces. He enjoyed growing up in North Clymer, a close knit community in the country, living on the family dairy farm and spending time with his brothers and friends camping, fishing and playing whiffle ball.
Christopher graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He was a four-year player on the Rolling Scots Football Team. He was currently working on his ordination through Asbury Theological Seminary. He was a graduate of Clymer Central School and loved his Class of 1988. He was a member of the National Honor Society, chorus and marching band. He was also a manager for the Pirates football team for four years.
Despite being born with physical challenges, Christopher did not let that inhibit his living. Matthew 25:21 exemplifies the completeness of his life. “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
Christopher is survived by his former wife and caregiver Susan Rhodes of Clymer, N.Y., her daughter and his beloved Lilyanna Hamm; mother, the Rev. Jacqueline Rhodes of Clymer, N.Y.; brothers Mark (Rosetta) Rhodes of Corry, Pa.; Gregory (Sharon) Rhodes of Chelsea, Mich.; and Corey Rhodes of Clymer, N.Y.; nephews Jason Rhodes, Daniel Rhodes, Mark (Megan) Rhodes II, Scott (Danielle) Rhodes and Jacob Rhodes; nieces Jennifer Rhodes and Jo-Linda (Tanner) Propheter; and great-nephew Lukas (Mark and Megan) Rhodes; and several uncles, aunts and cousins.
Christopher was preceded into Glory by his grandparents the Rev. Alvin and Edna Rhodes and Walter and Mildred DeShazer and Hugh Damon; father Ronald H. Rhodes; Uncle Troy and Aunt Patty Chase; Uncle Donald Eschleman; Uncle Dick Poorman; Uncle Bill Craday; Cousin Billy Klingensmith; Cousin Darin Eshleman; college friends John Snyder and Jeff Garlington; and high school friend Matthew Hull.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date when the pandemic has subsided.
He will be buried at Clymer-Center Cemetery this week.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Fentonville UM Church, N. Clymer UM Church or Samaritan’s Purse.
Arrangements are being handled by David J. Dengler, SPITZER Funeral Home, Clymer, New York.