Cheney Free Press -

Donald Lee Rhoades


Last updated 1/16/2020 at 10:09am

Donald “Dusty” Rhoades, 81, passed away early Jan. 13, 2020, and is now reunited with his beloved wife Galen in Heaven.

He was born June 9, 1938 in Tonasket, Wash., the second of 12 children born to his loving mother Josephine (Estell) Dickinson. He graduated from Spangle High School in 1957, where he met his best friend, Jim, and they spent the next decades getting into mischief and cracking jokes together. Both were members of the Naval Air Reserve in high school, and joined the Marines after graduation, serving over three years together.

Donald met Galen “Peeps” (Reagan) Rhoades in Spokane, Wash., after he finished serving his three years in the Marines. They were married shortly after on Dec. 30, 1960. They enjoyed a happy marriage of nearly 59 years before Peeps passed away less than four months before him, presumably to warn everyone in Heaven that he (and his jokes) were coming.

They welcomed the birth of four children: Shawn, Rickey, Michael and Tammy. During their marriage, Donald and Galen lived in various places throughout Washington and Montana, eventually settling in Spangle in later years.

Donald served in the Marines for three years and the Air Force for more than four years. He worked and retired from construction as a member of the Laborer’s Union (including projects on the Boundary and Grand Coulee dams) and had various other jobs later in life when Galen decided he wasn’t quite ready for retirement. He was a hard worker, a proud veteran and a member of the Cheney American Legion and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Donald was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, family member and friend. He loved to laugh, especially while sharing stories and jokes at family gatherings. He was always fun to be around.

He was an avid reader, loved movies (especially Westerns) and enjoyed various hobbies over the years, including playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker and cribbage, watching football games, horse races, working on cars, camping, fishing, hunting and spoiling his well-loved cat, Angel. Dusty had the best laugh, hugs and kisses (accompanied by beard stubble on the cheek and a twinkle in his blue eyes). He loved his children and adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and often shared his love with his witty and sarcastic humor.

Donald was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Galen Rhoades; his mother, Josephine Dickinson; mother-in-law, Nedra Reagan; father-in-law, Robert Reagan; his dearly loved aunt and uncle, Phyllis and Walt Mundt; his brothers, Jackie “Jake” Rhoades, Butch Dickinson and Eugene “Gene” Dickinson and his sister, Charlotte Graham (Rhoades).

He left behind a loving legacy with his family: siblings Linda Turley, Gary Dickinson (Sue), Dwayne Dickinson, Geraldine Sande (Earl), Terry Dickinson (Debbie), Velma Lindhag (Dan), and Thelma Teal (Don); his children Shawn Slater, Rickey Rhoades (Margie), Michael Rhoades, and Tammy Hinson (Joseph); his grandchildren Jessica (Hinson) Spracklen (John), Joseph Hinson (Chrisann), Megan Rhoades, Tyler Rhoades, Walter Slater III, Rosalyn Slater, Olivia Slater, and Vivien Rhoades; his great-grandchildren Johnny Spracklen, Joseph Hinson and Emilia Hinson; and numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 18 at Cheney Funeral Chapel, 1632 W. 1st St. Cheney, Wash., followed by a graveside service at Spangle cemetery. After the burial, there will be a memorial reception at Spangle Service Club, 165 N. St. Spangle, Wash. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations in memory of Donald “Dusty” Rhoades to the Spangle Service Club.


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