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1923 Elsie Pryor 2024

Elsie Pryor Rhodes

January 7, 1923 — January 1, 2024

Reidsville, North Carolina

 

Elsie Pryor Rhodes

 

 (Reidsville, NC) Elsie Pryor Rhodes joined her beloved husband Walter in Heaven on January 1, 2024. Born in Rogers, Arkansas on January 7, 1923, she celebrated her 100th birthday at Penn Nursing Center in Reidsville with her family and friends this past January. 

   

 A private family memorial service will take place at Woodmont United Methodist Church in Reidsville on what would have been Elsie’s 101st birthday.

 

 A public visitation will be 1 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of First United Methodist Church in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 9, 2024.

 

In 1925, Elsie’s parents, Frances and Joe Pryor moved their family from Arkansas to Tupelo to expand the family business Pryor’s, a ladies apparel shop. After graduating from Tupelo High School in 1940, Elsie attended Mississippi State College for Women. Elsie then moved up North where she worked as a secretary in Boston and New York City. She was also able to follow her love of singing by taking voice lessons at the New England Conservatory of Music.

 

A blind date during Christmas of 1943 would be the beginning of a 63-year marriage. Their relationship grew stronger through a multitude of letters to each other in the following months. When news came that Walter’s Navy ship was set to sail into the Pacific, the couple rushed through a wartime courtship.  Following a romantic proposal atop The Empire State Building, the couple married soon after.

 

When Walter returned from the war, they moved to Sheffield, Alabama where they enjoyed baby Bill and a few years later, added brother Chuck. Elsie’s life centered around the church, teaching Sunday school, being a Scout Den Mother, and singing in the choir. She also created Lad & Lassie Kindergarten in her home in 1956.

 

Moving back to Tupelo in 1965, united the family of four with both sides of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In addition, Elsie began managing Pryor’s and resumed her closeness with the church she grew up attending, First United Methodist.  Happy retirement for Elsie and Walter included tennis for Walter, both volunteering in the community through Mended Hearts, singing together in the church choir for nearly 40 years, and Elsie loving her prayer group.

 

When Walter’s health began to decline, the couple moved to Reidsville in 2008 to be cared for by son Chuck. Sadly, Walter died in 2009 after 63 years of marriage to his beloved “Mary Elsie.” Elsie was sustained in her grief by her very strong faith, her church friends, and her large loving family.

 

For 10 years, Elsie treasured living across the street from one of her granddaughters, Rachel, husband, Zack and three young great-grandchildren, Zack, Bill, and Miriam. What a wonderful time that was for them to delight in card games, music recitals, read-alouds, and meals together! Living in Reidsville also gave Elsie many opportunities to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren both in NC and Maryland. Nothing gave her greater joy than her family.

 

Throughout her life, Elsie was known by her family as “The Queen of Family Scrapbooks.” Meticulously documenting every aspect of both her sons’ growing up years, marriages, 5 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, Elsie devoted much of her life lovingly making countless scrapbooks for her family, now treasured legacies.

 

 Elsie’s family celebrates her long, faithful, loving life. We will remember her smile of happiness upon seeing us, very Southern drawl, love of family history, sweet manners, concern for others, enjoyment of phone calls, appreciation of visitors, love of fashion and make-up, delight in desserts, true connection with dogs, and constant prayers.

 

Mary Elsie Pryor Rhodes is survived by her loving sons Charles Cottrell Rhodes (Bettie Stocks) and William Joseph Rhodes (Carla Brown). Sister Sara Pryor Stone (Richard Norbin Stone).  Grandchildren Rachel Patton Rhodes (Dr. John Zackariah Hall, Jr.), Charles Cottrell Rhodes, Jr. (Jennifer Essick), Elizabeth Stocks Rhodes (Ret. LTC Benjamin Laymen Shepherd), Elizabeth Pryor Rhodes (Dr. Robert Vincent Hawley), and William Brian Rhodes; great-grandchildren John Zachariah Hall, III, William Pearce Hall, Miriam Sacrinty Hall, William Bryce Rhodes, Trenton Cottrell Rhodes, Elizabeth Stocks Shepherd, Mary Milam Shepherd, Sara Campbell Shepherd, Sarah Elizabeth Anderson Winkler (Stephen Winkler), Lauren Marie Anderson, and Blake David Anderson and many nieces and nephews.

    

The family is extremely grateful for the compassionate, professional people of Penn Nursing Center of Reidsville, NC and Ancora Compassionate Care (formerly Hospice of Rockingham County).  

 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be sent to Ancora Compassionate Care, 2150 NC-65, Reidsville, NC 27320.

 

Expressions of sympathy and fond memories may be made at PeguesFuneralHome.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elsie Pryor Rhodes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

412 West Main Street, Tupelo, MS 38804

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

412 West Main Street, Tupelo, MS 38804

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