“Chief’s” tour of duty ended on February 27, 2014 with a final march to the gates of Heaven.
Master Sergeant Lee “Chief” Rhyne, age 94 of Johnson City passed peacefully Thursday, February 27, 2014, surrounded by his family.
A loving husband, father, grandfather “Babaw,” great-grandfather and decorated soldier.
Born May 31, 1919, in Plumtree, North Carolina, to the late Jim and Flora Cassette Rhyne. He became a career Army soldier at the age of 16. WWII Veteran Master Sergeant Rhyne stormed the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge under General George Patton and marched throughout France and on to Berlin to liberate Europe.
After active duty, “Chief” was educated in electronics and became a leader in early stages of guided missiles, firing some of the first AJAX and Hercules defense missiles. Chief received numerous awards and honors throughout his 30 years of service, including: member of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, received The Purple Heart, a bronze star and combat medals.
Chief left the service in 1964 to finish raising his family due to the untimely death of the love of his life, Hildred, his wife. After returning home, Chief worked as a manager at numerous Wright’s Super Markets, Jiffy Markets, American Rentals and was a rural carrier for the Johnson City Press. He attended and graduated deans list from Steed College. He became an avid tomato farmer and a “Babaw” to his four granddaughters.
Lee was proceeded in death by his wife, Hildred Mae Carpenter Rhyne; his parents, James “Jim” and Flora Cassette Rhyne; step-mother, Mindie Rhyne; brothers, Denver, Jack, Ralph and Nat Rhyne; and sisters, Teresa Watson, Mary Woody, Ravonda Vance and Stella Buchanan.
Survivors include daughter, Karen “Susie” McInturff and husband, Anthony, of Johnson City; sons, Chris Rhyne and wife, Virginia, of Gray, Sam Rhyne and wife, Linda, of Sebastian, FL; granddaughters, Krissy Bunger and husband, Alan, of Spring Hill, TN, Haylee Rhyne of Gray, Chelsea McInturff and Heather McInturff, both of Johnson City; and great-granddaughter, Finley Blair Bunger, of Spring Hill, TN.
Graveside Services will be Monday, March 3, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. at Mountain Home National Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.snydersmemorialgardens.com.
E-condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snyder’s Memorial Gardens is proudly serving the Rhyne family.