Obit: Rhode, Florian Robert (1922 – 2009)
Surnames: Rhode, Foster, Kidrick, Ballard, Olson, Briar, Simonetti, Waldo, Sharpley
----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) June 10, 2009
Rhode, Florian Robert (7 January 1922 – 22 May 2009) With Flag
Florian Robert Rhode, 87, of Menominee, MI, formerly of Black River Falls, passed away peacefully Friday morning, May 22, 2009, at Bay Area Medical Center.
Florian was born Jan. 7, 1922 in Carney, MI to the late Florian Sr. and Gladys (Foster) Rhode. He married Helen Kidrick-Ballard in Janesville Feb. 4, 1961.
Florian joined the U. S. Army in 1942, serving as a staff sergeant in the 2nd Army 466 Medical Battalion during World War II in the European Theatre of War. Florian was the leader of the 1st Platoon and saw extensive wartime in England, France, Holland, Germany and Russia. He was most proud of his Purple Heart and the five Bronze Stars he received for serving in the battles of: Battle of the Bulge, the Normandy Invasion, Brest France, Ardennes Woods and Nancy France. Florian logged over 171,000 miles as an ambulance driver during the war. One memorable moment was when he shared a beer with General Patton. In 1945, Florian was honorably discharged and returned home on the Queen Mary.
Following the war, he worked as a crane operator in heavy construction, Operating Engineers Local #139.
Following his retirement, he and his wife, Helen, ran an Army-Navy Surplus Sports Shop in Peshtigo. In the 1960s, they ran a resort in Lake of the Woods, MN.
Florian was a member of the VFW Post #1887 and the American Legion Post #146. He enjoyed storytelling, hunting, fishing and spending time in the woods, but even more enjoyable was his time spent with his family.
Florian is survived by his wife, Helen; six children, Michael (Nancy) Rhode of Park Rapids, MN, Susan Ballard of Madison, Roger (Mary) Rhode of Black River Falls, Susan Olson of Cashton, Mark Rhode of Green Bay and Patricia Briar of Peshtigo; nine grandchildren, Shannon, Robin, Larry, Matthew, Melissa, Sara, Danielle, Jared and Brandon (Melissa); and great-grandchildren. He is further survived by two sisters, Bernice (John) Simonetti and Betty (Darwin) Waldo, and seven brothers, Clifford, Allen, Blaine (Gloria), Floyd, Gerald (Hazel) Howard (Rosanne) and Raymond; and his special cat, Kitty.
In addition to his parents, Florian was preceded in death by his first wife, June Sharpley; one son, Paul Rhode; his son-in-law, Richard Briar; one sister, Irene Rhode; and two brothers, Herbert and Robert Rhode.
Funeral services were held May 26, 2009, at the Anderson-Kell Funeral Home in Menominee, MI. Burial was in Glenwood Memorial Gardens.
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