James I. Rhea, 84, passed away Feb. 22, 2014, at his home in West Point.
Mr. Rhea was born March 18, 1929, in West Point the son of the late: James Isabelle and Lois Louise Smith Rhea. He was a member of First Baptist Church in West Point. He designed and built the original Prairie Arts Festival Train and was named â€śGrand Marshallâ€ť for the West Point Christmas Parade. During the course of Mr. Rheaâ€™s career in the workforce, he held many various positions. He was the service manager for Clay Motors. He was a supervisor at Babcock and Wilcox Corporation. He retired as Maintenance Superintendent with the City of West Point. He was on active duty during both the Korean War and Berlin Crisis. He retired after 32 years in maintenance from the Mississippi National Guard, retiring as Chief Warrant Officer with the 223rd Engineering Battalion. He married Bobbie Jo Simmons Rhea on June 3, 1953, in West Point.
Funeral services are today, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, at 2 p.m. from Calvert Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Dale Funderburg officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery in West Point. Calvert Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include wife, Bobbie Jo Simmons Rhea; one daughter, Emily Bratton (Marion); two sons: J. T. Rhea and Robert â€śRedâ€ť Rhea (Libby) all of West Point; eight grandchildren: Kimberly Todd (Frank), Justin Rhea, Lauren Campanella (Michael), Shelby Rhea, Allison Bratton Carter (Chris), Tyler Bratton (Bree), Shannon Rhea Hicks (Dylan) and Amanda Rhea; seven great grandchildren: Lily Todd, Catherine Tyler Carter, Mason Campanella, Maddux BeauBratton, Hunter Hicks, Skye Hicks and Shanna Beth Hicks; one sister, Alice Louise Scallions (Gerald) of Columbus and one brother, Herbert Rhea (Mary Helen) of Carthage; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers are Tyler Bratton, Chris Carter, Justin Rhea, John Ellis, John Andrews, and Jeff Henry.
Honorary pallbearers are Leon Simmons, Ernest Cothran, Kenny Dill, Glenn Fulgham, Danny Golson, Caradine Young, William L. Watkins, Jay B. â€śBoâ€ť Phelps, Dr. Andrew Wartak and Staff, and the Nurses and Staff of North Mississippi Medical Center Hospice.
Memorials may be made to Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, 800 Avery Blvd, Suite 100, Ridgeland, MS 39157-5225 or to American Heart Association, P. O. Box 16808, Jackson, MS 39236.
Friends may leave an online condolence at www.calvertfuneralhome.com