Elsie Fae Rhoades, the daughter of Chessten H. and Mary Elizabeth (Neal) McCoy, was born on March 10, 1921, in Jerico Springs, Missouri. She attended Central Country School and Tarkio High School, Tarkio, Missouri, graduating in 1939. She then attended Tarkio College, Tarkio, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and University of California, Berkeley. After returning to Tarkio, she graduated from Tarkio College with a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy and Master’s in English Literature from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri.
On October 20, 1940, Elsie Fae was united in marriage to Everett “Dusty” Rhoades in Platte City, Missouri. They became the parents of three children: James Findley, Mary Beth, and Jane. Dusty passed away in 1971.
Elsie Fae was employed by Shenandoah High School, Shenandoah, Iowa, where she taught English and Humanities for 17 years. She retired in 1985. She then began writing the very popular newspaper column “Ask Elsie Fae” in the Tarkio Avalanche. She was a member of the Tarkio United Methodist Church, Tarkio Mule Barn Theatre Guild, and directed numerous community theatre productions to raise money for the Mule Barn. She spearheaded the Niedermeyer Park Gazebo project. She was also a member of the Tuesday Club and PEO Chapter FF, Tarkio. She co-authored the Tarkio Trivia Book, and later was emcee of multiple Community Hospital Celebrity Waiter Dinners. As a result of her interest in youth and social etiquette, she wrote a guide to table manners and courtesy, and went on to host classes for area youth. Elsie Fae was also active in numerous Tarkio College organizations. She could not fight the urge to host parties big or small, but most of all, she loved to dance . . . and she was a great dancer. If you don’t believe it, just “Ask Elsie!” Elsie Fae passed away Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Community Hospital-Fairfax, Fairfax, Missouri, at the age of 99.
Besides her parents and her husband, Dusty, Elsie Fae was preceded in death by sister, Edna O’Dell, and brother, Meryle McCoy. Survivors include: children, James Findley Rhoades, Janesville, Wisconsin, Mary Beth (Eddie) Bredensteiner, Westboro, Missouri, and Jane (Paul) McIntire, Buffalo, New York; grandchildren, Shelley (Mike) Murphy, Susan (Dale) Bird, Jake (Heather) Rhoades, Dallas (Jayson) Prather, Shane (Kymm) Bredensteiner, and Blu (Tommy) Dow; great-grandchildren, Molly, Marcus, Connor, Griffin, Lucy, Elizabeth, Dillon, River, Keely, and Mame; niece, Debbie (Todd) Allen; and nephews, Bobby McCoy and Danny McCoy.
Due to the current conditions, a memorial service in honor of Elsie Fae’s life will be held at a future date. A private family funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 11, 2020, at the United Methodist Church, Tarkio. Public open visitation begins at 9:00 a.m., Friday, July 10, at Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio. There is no scheduled family visitation.
Memorials may be directed to the United Methodist Church, Home Cemetery, or Tarkio Tech, Tarkio.
Online condolences may be left at www.minterfuneralchapels.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio.