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Marvin Dean Rhodes

April 21, 1954 - February 14, 2020


Marvin Dean RhodesMarvin Dean Rhodes

April 21, 1954 - February 14, 2020

Friday, February 14th, we lost a gentle, and genuinely kind man, Marvin Dean Rhodes. He was a community servant in Medford, from 1974 through 1992.
Marvin was born April 21st, 1954, in Eugene, Oregon, to Cecil and Alice Rhodes. He was 13 minutes older than his twin sister, Marilyn Jean Rhodes. The four of them lived in Creswell, Oregon until they moved to Brookings in 1957, then on to Gold Beach, followed by Roseburg, then back to Creswell, just before going into the 8th grade. He and his twin sister graduated from Creswell High School in 1972.

From a very early age he was interested in records, radio, and television. While his peers enjoyed forts and sports, his fort was equipped with a turntable, a microphone, and plywood call letters KMDR. He and a classmate managed to jump through FCC hoops, and started a local high school radio station.
After graduation, he enrolled at Lane Community College, while working at an FM station in Springfield. His LCC teacher encouraged him to seek full time employment in the field. So he landed a job as a DJ, at KMED radio, in Medford, where he was very well received by his employers, and his listeners. He thrived and excelled at all aspects of the business, but was especially talented at programming.

Since the owners of KMED also had a television station, they made the smart move of putting him in charge of television programming.

He hosted the local segments of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethons, every year, while in both radio and television, at KMED. He also served on the Board of Directors of Dogs for the Deaf, starting in 1981.

March 7th of 1981, he married his One and Only, Davona Gibson, who survives. They enjoyed raising their two wonderful children, Brandon and Kathleen, who also survive.

When he was hired as the Program Director of KPTV, Portland early in 1993, he continued his key roles of service with both MDA and Dogs for the Deaf. Marvin was loyal and devoted in all things.

In 2003, he began telecommuting with TLN, a religious television network from Chicago. He was instrumental in leading their endeavor of building a huge new production facility in Aurora, Illinois. Brandon was attending U of O, so in Spring of 2004, Kathleen Davona, and their two dogs moved to Aurora.

Once the facility was off and running, Marvin accepted a similar position with TCT, a few hours south in Marion, IL.

Anxious to reside back in Oregon, he accepted an executive position with the Oregon Department of Revenue. He enjoyed the challenges there from 2008 to 2013.

Then it was back to the colder part of the Midwest, where he was the General Manager of KEYC, in Mankato, Minnesota. He thrived as he led that station to heights of success it had never known.

Marvin enjoyed challenging leadership roles, and saw the staff he managed as family, and strove to mentor and nurture employees. He inspired excellence by example and focused training, which drove the bottom line, rather than the other way around.

In the early spring of 2019, a massive benign brain tumor was discovered, which forced an early retirement. The miraculous removal of the Meningioma gave him a quality of life that was more than one could hope for. He and Davona were able to move back to Salem in late August of 2019.

These final months included many rich gifts. Best of all was the outpouring of love and appreciation from so many people who adored him, and his gentle, yet motivated style of management, and way of being in his world.

While in Portland, Marvin volunteered one the Board of Directors of Red Cross and United Way. In Mankato, he was active in many volunteer roles including the Salvation Army and Greater Mankato Growth.

Marvin was a loving and devoted husband and father who enjoyed movies, music and television.

He was a Christian and loved God, in spite of his time in religious broadcasting.

He walked the talk, and his friends and family will miss him greatly.

A memorial service will be at Salem First United Methodist Church, Friday, February 21st, at 2:00. Following will be an early dinner at the Salem Convention Center Santiam Room.

Memorial contributions are appreciated and can be sent to the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund and For Keeps Ministries.

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We are sadden to here of Marvin's passing. I am part of a small group that worked for Marvin known as "The Gang". He would have lunch with us and on his calendar it would say lunch with The Gang. He would come and sit with in our row of Cubicles to have lunch. He would walk around from time to time and just stop to say hello. Marvin made us all feel special. We enjoyed his great smile and laugh. We would tell funny jokes and all laugh loudly and no one would say a word to us cause Marvin was there with us. I personally, have missed seeing him at the end of the day sitting in his office. Thank you for sharing him with us. Know that he will be missed. Prays to his family from a Member of his Revenue GANG.