DONALD JACK RHEA
Jack Rhea (Uncle Don Rhea)
Born Nov. 16, 1931 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He grew up in Springfield, Missouri. After leaving college he joined the United States Air Force. While stationed at Lackland Air Force Base he started his radio career and became program director of the base radio station. After his honorable discharge, Uncle Don took his first full time radio job. Through the years he worked in San Antonio,Texas and spent many years in Kansas City, Missouri. The Mayors of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas joined together to proclaim “Don Rhea Day.” He also worked in Grand Junction, Colorado. In 1986, Don left the air to serve as General Manager of WATZ-AM and WATZ-FM in Alpena.
In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame. As a Music and Program Director, he is credited with breaking many hits, including “Almost Persuaded,” by David Houston, “Flowers On The Wall,” by the Statler Brothers, “Snowbird,” by Anne Murray and many more.
Also, Jack was always active in all charitable and community activities. In Alpena he was involved with the Rotary Club. He spent over 25 years in scouting as a leader, trainer and commissioner, receiving the BSA’s Silver Beaver Award.
He married Harriet Rosemary Riggs and they raised five sons, Alan and Sam in Shell Knob, John in Emerald Beach, and Michael (Lisa McCormick) in Alpena Michigan. He enjoyed his 35 grandchildren.
Jack retired to Shell Knob in 1995. He enjoyed traveling, bridge, storytelling and many friends and grandchildren. He will be missed by all.
He was preceded in death by one son, Don, his parents, daughter in law, Betty Jo Rhea, and a granddaughter Tonya Rhea.
He was cremated at White Funeral Home of Cassville, Missouri and family services will be at a later date when it is safer.