Neal, as his family and friends knew him, was born the eighth child of Pearlene and Abraham Rhodes in Seminole, Oklahoma. He grew up in Fairmead, California where he attended elementary school and later Chowchilla High School. He transferred to and graduated from Merced High School. Neal was extremely competitive in sport and in nearly everything in which he participated. He aspired to be ‘the best’. He excelled in football, track and basketball and lettered in these sports all 4 years. He was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley and by the University at Buffalo.
Neal then attended Laney College in Oakland, CA where he received a degree in Industrial Arts. When asked about his education, Neal explained that he already knew most everything the teacher taught before they taught it. One teacher stood out in his mind who was Glen Fowler. After college he worked as a carpenter and in other building & construction trades.He then went to work for Libby-Owens in the glass division where he became a journeyman machinist. His tenure there ended shortly after he became ill.
Neal was an avid dancer and liked to dance every dance. His love for fancy clothing made him the envy of all the guys and an attraction to all the girls. Neal was always meticulously dressed, especially his shoes which had to be “spit-shined” such that one could see his reflection in them. Neal was a great car enthusiast and remodeled several cars to his style. He often recalled his old Mercury and especially his 1959 Cadillac.
Myron Neal Rhodes passed away January 15, 2019 in Napa California after a long illness. He was 75 years old. He leaves to morn his passing, a brother, Lenard Rhodes (Dorothy), of Merced CA and a sister Joyce Dorsey of Buffalo, New York. He was pre-deceased in death by his parents Abraham and Pearlene (Handy) Rhodes of Merced, CA, 5 sisters: Jacqueline Bulluck (Curtis) and Bobbie Jo Gallon (Frank) of Winton, CA; Hazel Dale of Merced, CA, Jean Gant (James) of Buffalo, New York and Corine Cater (McKay) of Oakland and by 1 brother Abraham Rhodes (JoAllen) of Sacramento. Lee Dale who was raised with him. Has a brother (rather than as the nephew as he actually was) also pre-deceased him. He was a member of a large family including many nieces and nephews and generations following them.