School 14

David W. Rhoades

September 6, 2021


David Wayne Rhoades, 78, went to be with his Lord and Savior at 4:40 a.m., Monday, September 6, 2021, at his residence in Delaware County, Ohio.

He was born on May 23, 1943, in Van Wert, Ohio the son of the late Eldin John and Lucille Elmira (Marquardt) Rhoades. On June 13, 1963, he married Alice A. (Mathew) Rhoades who survives in Delaware.

Survivors include a son, Joel D. (Laura) Rhoades of Delaware, Ohio; two daughters Jeanne O. (John) Fleming of Fairborn, Ohio and Abigail R. (Aaron) Hartung of Powell, Ohio; six grandchildren, Jasmine Cortner, Jermaine Defore, James Defore, Norah Rhoades, CJ Rhoades, and Hannah Hartung; two great grandchildren, Jaxon Cortner and Jenson Cortner; two brothers, Dwight A. (Connie) Rhoades of Van Wert and Dennis M. (Susan) Rhoades of Convoy; one sister, Joy E. (Al) Goodman of Elgin, Illinois, many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were two sisters, Janice L. Cumbey and Dorcas S. Rhoades.

David grew up on a dairy farm outside Convoy, raising turkeys and chickens. Later he raised sheep for years while living outside of Ohio City.  For much of his life he was an avid accordion player, including for six years in a trio with two of his siblings and on a 1959 mission trip to Mexico. David was a 1961 graduate of Crestview High School and went on to graduate from Wheaton College in 1965 with his degree in psychology. In 1968, he attended St. Francis University, Fort Wayne and received his masters degree in education. He also received an education specialist certificate from Bowling Green State University in 1972.

David started his education career as a science teacher at Paulding High School in 1965. In 1969 he became the youngest school superintendent in Ohio, beginning his career at Ohio City-Liberty School where he served until 1982. He then became the Van Wert County superintendent until 1999. He also taught adult education computer classes at Vantage Career Center and BGSU with his son Joel for ten years. He served on the Management Council for 20 years including one year with his daughter Abby and culminating as chairman of the board. David and Alice also delivered RV’s all over the lower 48 states from 1999 to 2001.

David was a very active member of The Apostolic Church, Van Wert, where he served in a variety of leadership capacities. Other civic involvement included Van Wert Rotary Club, Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Action Commission.  After 48 years of living in rural Ohio City, David and Alice moved to Delaware in September 2020 to be closer to their children.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 10, 2021 at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert with the Rev. Robert Frake of The Apostolic Church officiating. Calling hours are on Thursday from 3-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment with be at Ohio City Woodlawn Cemetery.

Preferred memorials are to The Apostolic Church, Van Wert or The Gideons International.

Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded at, Tribute Wall.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David W. Rhoades, please visit our floral store.


September 9, 2021

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Cowan & Son Funeral Home
616 S. Washington St
Van Wert, OH 45891

Funeral Service
September 10, 2021

10:30 AM
Cowan & Son Funeral Home
616 S. Washington St
Van Wert, OH 45891

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