Former Cape Girardeau mayor, Rhodes 101 founder dies - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former Cape Girardeau mayor, Rhodes 101 founder dies

F.E. "Gene" Rhodes (Source: Ford & Sons Funeral Home) F.E. "Gene" Rhodes (Source: Ford & Sons Funeral Home)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Former Cape Girardeau mayor and founder of Rhodes 101 passed away Tuesday.

Francis Eugene "Gene" Rhodes, 88, of Cape Girardeau died Tuesday morning at Chateau Girardeau surrounded by his daughters.

Rhodes was born in Toga, Missouri (near Advance) on July 24, 1926.

He was drafted into the Army in November 1944 and graduated early from Advance High School that December. 

Rhodes served twice in the U.S. Army (7th Infantry Division) on Okinawa in the South Pacific Theatre during World War II as a master sergeant, and at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco during the Korean Conflict. 

He married Edvira A. Messmer at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Kelso, Missouri on Nov. 24, 1948.

Rhodes founded Rhodes Oil Companies in 1963 as an oil jobbership with Gulf Oil Corporation.

When the Gulf Oil Corporation pulled out of southeast Missouri in the early 1970s, Rhodes acquired several Gulf service station locations in the area. He expanded his business to the gasoline retail market with Rhodes Pump-Ur-Own self-service gas stations that would later become Rhodes 101 Convenience stores.

Rhodes served as mayor of Cape Girardeau from 1986 to 1994. He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish for more than 50 years. 

He is survived by one brother, six daughters, 21 grandchildren, and 31 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday with parish prayers at 7 p.m. and again from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be 2 p.m. Friday at the church, with the Rev. David Hulshof officiating. Burial with full military honors will be performed at St. Mary's Cemetery in Cape Girardeau. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Birthright, the American Cancer Society and Wounded Warriors.

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