Rufus Ray Rhoton, age 96, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 after a brief illness. Rufus grew up close to Clinchport, Va. As a young man, he took advantage of President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps which employed young adults 17 to 25 years of age to help develop natural resources in rural areas. Rufus joined the U.S. Navy on Sept. 24, 1942 and was discharged Dec.18, 1945. He served on the mine layer USS Sicard and saw action from Alaska to the South Pacific. He was awarded many citations for bravery. Rufus worked at the Mead paper company as a machinist for forty years. He told stories about how big paper machines would arrive in boxes and he would "have to figure out how to put the machines together." Toward the end of his life the Veterans Administration in Johnson City asked him why he hadn't taken advantage of his benefits; he quietly answered, "I figured other people needed it more than me."
Whenever he went for a checkup he always took the VA staff tomatoes out of his garden. He always loved Va. Tech and Dallas Cowboys football and would watch every game.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Daniel and Laura Rhoton; brothers, Walter, Carl, and Maurice; beautiful wife, Billie Jo Rhoton; and loving son, William Michael Rhoton.
Surviving are daughters Rikki Rhoten of Kingsport, TN and Kim Haskins and fiancé Gene Pope of Tampa, Fla.; granddaughter, Callie Haskins Los Angeles, CA; special daughter, Dr. Billie Minton; loving and caring nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Scott County Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow in the chapel with Dr. Kenneth Calvert officiating.
A military graveside service will follow at Holston View Cemetery with American Legion Hammond Post #3/265 conducting the honors. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Gate City.
Carter-Trent/Scott County Funeral Home is serving the Rhoton family.