Remembering Wallace Rhodes

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dear Editor,

I have known Wallace Rhodes for many years and was saddened by his passing last week. I read his obituary and was impressed how his service extended far outside our community to the state level.

Rhodes was a friend to many citizens of LaGrange, and he was a steadfast husband.

I ran into him numerous times at Florence Hand Home when he was visiting with his ailing wife.

There is one thing, however, that his obituary did not tell.

The one thing left out of his obituary was an intangible, but an important one — his impact on our community.

Rhodes did not hesitate to write editorials to The LaGrange Daily News about issues of the day, and he pretty much didn’t care if his editorials offended anyone.

He wouldn’t hesitate to step on the toes of the Troup County Commission, the LaGrange City Council, the Troup County School System, West Georgia Medical Center, the state of Georgia, etc. if he felt they had gone too far in his (admittedly conservative) opinion.

I read many of his editorials over the years and was impressed by his descriptions of where the organizations had gone wrong and how they worked a hardship on those less powerful in our community.

It is refreshing to know that there is someone not afraid to raise their voice for those less powerful when the leading institutions of our community made a misstep.

Rhodes was that person.

I have heard some people call him a troublemaker, but in my opinion, Rhodes was the “conscience of LaGrange,” a man not afraid to speak out publicly when, perhaps, no one else would.

Rest in peace my old friend, your voice will be missed.

Chris Cleveland