John “Buzz” Rhoads, Jr., 89, died peacefully after an extended illness the evening of Monday, June 10th, 2019. He leaves behind his loving wife of 14 years, Frankie; his brother Dr. Donald “Dick” Rhoads (Marge), nephew John (Daisy) Rhoads, niece Wendy (Richard) Weier of New Jersey and great-nephew Jake. He is also survived by his sister, Hilda Fay (Bootie) Hawk and her two sons Brent and Brad. He is predeceased by his parents, John and Rita, first wife Delores in 1994, brother-in-law Al Hawk, and daughter-in-law Laura (Bart) Elsea in February of 2019. Buzz was born on January 13th, 1930 to John and Rita (Wellington) Rhoads and raised in Circleville, Ohio. He graduated from Circleville High School in 1947. He attended Ohio University from 1947-1951 before enlisting in the Army. Buzz was a member of the Second Army Division. An accomplished musician, Buzz would go on to play in the Army Dance Band in Berlin, Germany in 1951. Upon honorable discharge from the Army Buzz played in several big bands, such as Dick Buntz and his Orchestra and The Howdy Gorman orchestra across the United States.
Besides playing in the bands Buzz began working for the RANCO Company in Columbus and married Delores Elsea Rhoads (d.1994) in 1955. Buzz worked his way up through the ranks from laborer to plant manager through the years at RANCO. He retired from there in 1976. An avid golfer, He became co-owner of Riceland Golf Course purchasing in 1962 with his parents, brother and brother-in-law. He moved to Orrville to assist running the family business, Riceland Golf Course from 1976 until 1985. Buzz retired from the golf course to return to Circleville to take care of his ailing parents. He will be remembered by nephews David (Kathy) Elsea and daughter, Meredith (Michael) Steimle, nephew Bobby Elsea and daughter Emma and niece Linda (Brandon Smith) Elsea and daughters Ella and Sadie. They have many fond memories of the yearly golf tournaments at Riceland and other family gatherings in Orrville. Buzz enjoyed their monthly phone calls from around the country. Buzz began a new chapter in his life, marrying Frances “Frankie” Elsea, on May 14 2005. He warmly welcomed her children into his life: surviving is stepdaughter Jayne (Jerry) Darfus, grandchildren Nora (Ed Bachmann) Kline, and Joe (Christie Thompson) Darfus. Stepson Richard (Saundra) Elsea, grandchildren Leslie (Joe) Miller, Dr. Lauren (Stephen) Hurley and Alex (Rachel) Elsea, and stepson Thomas “Bart” Elsea and grandsons, Brock (Shelby) Elsea, Troy (Victoria Mathia) Elsea and Braden Elsea. Great grandchildren that brought much joy to Buzz’s life: Mariah and Blaze Arledge, Joey and Kylee Darfus, Tristen and Ryan Miller, Brylee Rose Elsea, Sloane Hurley and Jaxon Elsea. Buzz was a member of the Elks and the United States Trotting Association. One of his many horses they co-owned, “Right Touch” went on to win the 2013 Indiana Sires Stakes Champions race. Buzz and Frankie enjoyed travelling, spending the winter in Florida, golfing and attending the races to watch their horses. They truly enjoyed getting together for the holidays and enjoying time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held at Wellman’s funeral home, 1455 North Court Street, Circleville, Ohio 43113, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 21, with the Elks memorial service beginning at 6:45 p.m. The funeral will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at The Community United Methodist Church 120 North Pickaway Street, Circleville. Burial will follow in Forrest Cemetery with military honors. Donations can be made to Berger Hospice and The Community United Methodist Church. Online condolences can be made to www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.
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