Home Records Obituaries Joseph (Joe) Stockton Rhodes

Joseph (Joe) Stockton Rhodes


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

1941 – 2021

Joe was born in October 1941 in Cuero, TX to his father who shared his name, Joseph Stockton Rhodes and his mother, Roberta Lee Rhodes. His father worked for the Shell Oil Company and they moved a number of times throughout Texas and ultimately to Houston where Joe spent much of his early years and developed his life-long aversion to humidity. Joe then moved with his family to Roswell, NM in 1957 (9th grade), where he attended Roswell High School and was a multi-sport star athlete lettering in football, basketball and track. His coaches called him “Little Joe the Wrangler”. More importantly, it was at Roswell High that he met the love of his life, Ellen Kay (Henderson) Rhodes, whom he married on September 8, 1962 and was married for 52 years, and had two children, before she passed following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014. Joe often worked in the oil fields during summers and also once for the Kansas City Chiefs who held their summer camp at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell in 1960.

Both Joe and Kay graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1964 and had already been married two years at that point.

Following graduation Joe went to work for Aetna Life & Casualty in the Albuquerque office. At Aetna Joe quickly became a top agent and had a long and successful career progressing to be a Managing Director and General Manager of several multi-state regions around the country and winning a number of awards and recognitions. In 1973 he became the General Agent for Aetna’s Seattle, WA regional office and turned it into high performing region and made a number of life-long friends before he was promoted to being the General Manager of the Midwest region in St. Louis, MO in 1980, and the Rocky Mountain Region in Denver, CO in 1989. Joe then concluded his career with the Prudential Insurance Company as Managing Director in Chicago, IL retiring in 1996. His retirement was primarily to dedicate himself to the care of Kay who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and whom he cared for with extreme dedication until her passing.

Joe was a beloved and dedicated father to his son Joseph Steven Rhodes born in 1970, and Julie Kay Rhodes born in 1971, both born while the family was living in Albuquerque, NM. Joe put his athletic knowledge and strong competitive spirit to good work as a coach to a number of Joseph’s sports teams which they both relished. Both his children loved him dearly.

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The family followed Joe’s career going from Albuquerque, NM; to Alderwood Manor, WA; to Yarrow Point, WA; to Town & Country, MO; to Columbine Valley, CO; to Barrington, IL and finally back to Columbine Valley in 1996, where Kay & Joe retired. Joe was a member of Columbine Country Club for thirty years where he made a number of dear friends and spent many special moments of his life. Joe loved golf and despite not having a prototypical swing had a short game and sense of competition that allowed him to be a stingy match player and to shoot the occasional very low round. He shot a 77 at the age of 77.

Joe is survived by his two devoted children and four grandchildren: his son Joe Rhodes and his wife Natalie Morales-Rhodes of Los Angeles, CA, and their children Joseph (Josh) Stockton Rhodes and Luke Hudson Rhodes, and his daughter Julie Rhodes and her children Henry Stephen Leftridge and Logan Eleanor Leftridge of Webster Groves, MO. He is also survived by his younger sister Penny Pulliam and her husband Byron of Grand Junction, CO and was preceded in death by his older sister Barbara Siegal who is survived by her husband Bernie Siegal of Menlo Park, CA. Joe is also survived by brother-in-law Steve Henderson and his wife Carol Jane of Roswell, NM.

He has three surviving nephews Mark and Jon Henderson and Jack Siegal, and one who preceded him in death, Doug Pulliam, and five surviving nieces including Cindy Henderson Redding, Tonya Henderson Winder, Nicole Siegal Fuselier, Cari Pulliam Diehl, and Kim Pulliam Vecchio and their families.

Joe was a Christian and attended Littleton United Methodist Church.

He was highly competitive and intelligent and prodigious at strategy games including chess, bridge and golf, as well as intellectual puzzles such as crosswords, word scrambles and crypto quip which he did daily.

Joe will be greatly missed by his friends and family and most remembered as an incredibly caring husband, father and friend. His friends described him as fun-loving, generous, principled and stubborn. He never lost his strong values, intellect or competitive spirit despite a number of serious health issues later in life. He lived independently until his death, which occurred with his two children by his side. May God bless his soul and welcome him into his eternal care where he will rejoin Kay in eternal love.

In light of the current Covid-19 environment, a service will be planned in Littleton likely in the summertime. In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations may be made to the Colorado chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at the following site http://act.alz.org/goto/Joe_Rhodes And, if you wish to share any thoughts or memories, there is a Memorial page located at https://memories.net/timeline/joe-rhodes-48696#.X_C88Awztz0.link

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