Longtime Copperas Cove resident and Fort Hood friend Edgar H. Rhode died Tuesday. He was 98.

Courtesy photo

COPPERAS COVE — The Edgar H. Rhode Technical Library at Fort Hood carries his name.

In April, the city of Copperas Cove named a new park and a road after him.

Rhode, 98, a longtime Copperas Cove resident and Fort Hood figurehead, died Tuesday.

He fell in his home Aug. 16 and was transported to Metroplex Hospital in Killeen.

He was then transferred to Scott & White Hospital in Temple before being moved to a Hill Country nursing home.

His sister and live-in caretaker, Phyllis Pinnow, said his health had been steadily declining for the past several months.

“He was an awful good fella and a good Christian man,” Copperas Cove Mayor John Hull said Wednesday. Hull was Rhode’s longtime friend and neighbor. “The city will miss him, Fort Hood will miss him, and I will miss him.”

The two were friends since the 1940s when Rhode first moved to Cove.

“He just lives two houses down from me. He lived a long and full life. I even drove him to Fort Hood a couple (of) times when he wasn’t able to get himself to events,” Hull said. “The city has lost a good friend. He always held Cove to a high regard.”

Services will be at noon Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove. Burial will follow at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. today in the chapel of Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.

Rhode lived with his family in Copperas Cove for more than 60 years.

Born and raised on a farm in Nebraska, he enlisted in the Army in 1939 and moved to the area a few years later when Cove had just a few hundred people and several dirt roads.

Rhode’s famous military affairs dinners took place in his backyard for decades; they only recently stopped after the death of his wife, Lorette, in 2010.

Rhode was a founding member of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee. He spent six years in the Army, attaining the rank of captain. He received the Army’s Public Service Commanders Award and Fort Hood’s Good Neighbor Award, among many other accolades. He served as Cove mayor and councilman, chaired the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and was president of the area’s American Red Cross and the Association of the U.S. Army chapter.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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