Jess Byron Rhoden age 71 of Maynard passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 9, 2019, after a long battle with prostate cancer. He passed away at his residence surrounded by his loving and caring family. He was the devoted husband to Margaret "Maggie" L. Thompson.
Jess was born in Harris County, Texas on November 17, 1947, the son of the late James Rhoden and Mattie Webber Rhoden. Jess graduated from Texas A&M ('70) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and later earned a Masters of Business Administration from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Jess worked for various companies during his career in electrical engineering in Milwaukee, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi and finally for Irby Sonepar Utilities in Robertsdale, Alabama. He was also a member and volunteer in the Episcopal Church in Alabama and Sudbury, MA.
For decades, Jess was a member of the Masonic Lodge, a fraternity and brotherhood he embraced his entire adult life. He earned the level of Master in Metairie, LA, serving as a Master Mason for 42 years, most recently as a member of the Corinthian Lodge in Concord, MA. He was also active in the Shriners, serving eventually as Potentate at the Hadji Shrine in Pensacola, FL in 2014. More recently, he was active in the Aleppo Shriners in Wilmington, MA, and dedicated many hours of volunteer service to several local organizations. He was also a HAMM radio operator and enjoyed communicating and gathering with many friends.
Family was everything to Jess, he married Maggie Thompson on September 16, 2005 and continued a wonderful life together, they moved to Maynard in 2016 to be closer to their children.
Jess will be remembered for his sharp wit and terrific sense of humor, his humility and caring nature, and his hobbies and tinkering. He loved New Orleans, cooking and eating great food, and preparing homemade bread. He adored his pets and his family, loved to teach his grandchildren and nieces about the important things in life. He was a consummate story-teller, but above all a great listener, caretaker, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Along with his wife, he is survived by their son Kerry James Ressler and his wife Betsy Ressler-Craig of Sudbury, their grandchildren, Joshua Ressler and his fiancé Fallon Hobbs, Jacob Ressler and Nicholas Ressler. He is also survived by his brothers Jody Rhoden, Donis Rhoden and sister Dana Rhoden Broussard along with many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Jess on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm in St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, 1 Morse Rd., Sudbury. A Masonic Remembrance service and a reception will follow.
Donations in his memory may be made to:
The Angel Fund
c/o Corinthian Lodge,
58 Monument Square
Concord, MA 01742
The Daughters of the Nile Foundation
6705 Mesa Drive
Austin, TX 78731-2817
Shriners Children's Hospital Organization
51 Blossom St.
Boston, MA 02114