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Mid-South hero lends a helping hand in his community

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 11:40 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - His life has been filled with love, laughter, service, children, and the friendly skies.

A man with a storied history in Collierville and Shelby County.

Born in Tipton County, Tennessee, Sam Rhodes spent nearly 70 years in law enforcement with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Collierville Police Department.

“If I was called on to do something, if I had the time period, I’ll do it,” said Rhodes.

The 84-year-old began his career as a commercial and naval pilot.

After he retired, he wanted to spend several hours a day of his golden years as a crossing guard. It’s a job that allowed him to walk the walk and talk and touch young lives, something witnessed by his daughter one quarter at a time.

“That’s the quarter I gave you. My daddy gone shined it up like it was brand new. Told him it was a magic quarter,” said Rhodes’ daughter Susan Lewis.

At times, he had to show his true officer stripes.

“I’ll come there in uniform. They say that big ole’ police, he’s going to get me. Well, I have to squish that. And we are here to help, want to help you,” Rhodes said.

Helping, serving, and nurturing young and old, family or neighbor, Rhodes has never met a stranger he couldn’t help.

Heroes like Rhodes, stand out and place a high priority on community.

“He’s always done that. He’s been that guy. If you call, he’s there. He will come and help out with anything that we need. He’ll get in uniform quick, get up here with anything we ask,” said David Yelvington.

It takes a dedicated servant to give 40 years of their life to serve and protect others. As for Rhodes, he didn’t think he did anything special.

Rhodes’ generosity cannot be dimmed, even with the loss of the love of his life, his wife of more than 65 years. His life is constantly changing the lives of others, including one Collierville family.

“In the fall of 2016, my children lost their father. And even though we had only been living here a few months, we were still getting to know our neighbors. Sam wanted to provide them with their Christmas presents,” said Jennifer Casey.

A hero loves to help others and from the smile and chuckle, it’s gratifying.

Congratulations, Sam Rhodes you are this month’s Mid-South Hero.

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