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Monday, May 15, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Monday, May 15, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)
MARTEE DAVIDSON RHEA died peacefully in her sleep at the Houston home of her daughter and son-law, Laura and William Remkes, on May 5, 2023. She was 108 years old. Martee was born on May 16th, 1914 in the small rural town of Summerfield, Louisiana. Born at the start of WorldWar One, she lived to see many inventions, multiple wars, two pandemics, and 19 Presidents. She graduated at 14 years old from Summerfield High School where she played basketball for the championship basketball team. Despite her young age, she was admitted to Louisiana Tech where she obtained a degree in education. By 17, she returned to Summerfield to teach. Her students included prior classmates of hers who had challenging behaviors. Martee decided teaching was not for her. She moved to Homer to work at the Sheriff’s office and later for the Louisiana Soil Conservation District. Immediately after moving to Homer, she joined the First Methodist Church of Homer where she was a faithful member for over 80 years, serving as the President of the UMW and Superintendent of the Junior Department as well as teaching Sunday School. She shared her fun, loving energy as a counselor for the Methodist Summer Camp. For her service, she was named Woman in Mission by the Ruston District.
Shreveport is where she was introduced to her husband, William Duane Rhea, by her good friend Sybil Wheelus. They married brothers and Martee described “Duane” the “handsomest man she had ever seen”. They were married in Homer on May 29, 1938. Later they purchased the Homer Western Auto and made many friends in town. Martee was generous, engaging, and open minded. She made friends easily and was a role model to many. She was curious about people, remembering details whenever she met them again. Her passions in life were her family, friends, church, travel and bridge. She spent most of her time being a wonderful mother, wife, grandmother, friend, and homemaker. And of course, she loved playing bridge at which she excelled!
Martee and Duane cherished the annual summer visit of their randchildren. For a month or more, the children enjoyed vacation bible school and playing at their cottage on Lake Claiborne. It became an annual ritual for other Homer grandchildren to visit at the same time and play at the lake with them. Of course, they also got to choose a toy or two from the Western Auto. In addition to her wit, charm and kindness to all, she was known for her fried chicken and caramel cake! After Duane passed away in 2009, Martee spent a lot of time staying in Erie, Pennsylvania with her daughter Susan and her family as well as in Houston with Laura Ann and her family. She made dear friends in both places!
Martee was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 71 years, William Duane Rhea; her parents Laura Mae Anderson Davidson and Lucius Marvin Davidson; brothers Elkins Donald Davidson and Dewey Frederick Davidson; and many other relatives and dear friends. She is
survived by daughter Susan Rhea (I. John, Esq.) Dunn of Fort Myers, FL and Erie, PA; daughter Laura Ann Rhea (William Ray) Remkes of Houston, TX. She is survived by her grandchildren and nine great grandchildren: Thomas Eugene, Esq. and Julia Wallace Dunn (Caroline Wallace, Elizabeth Laura, & John Duncan) of Greenwich, CT; William Phillips, Esq. and Melanie Powell Dunn (Phoebe Brock and William Henry) of Park City, UT; Laura Diantha Dunn, M.D. and Jonathan Goldberg, M.D. (Sophia Rhea and Hannah Elise) of Rocky River, OH; Christina Rhea Remkes Bishop (Thomas William and Wesley Kayden) of Houston, TX.
The family received friends on Monday, May 15, 2023 between 10 and 11 AM at the Cornerstone Church of Homer in Homer, LA. The elebration of life service began at 11AM followed by the burial at Homer Arlington Cemetery. Reverend R.B. Moore officiated and Rose-Neath Funeral Home handled the details.
Pallbearers were grandchildren Thomas Dunnand, William Dunn; great grandchildren John Dunn and Henry Dunn; and family friends Gil Dowies, Butch Lee and Rod Long. Serving as honorary pallbearers were granddaughters Laura Dunn Goldberg and Christina Rhea Remkes Bishop and great grandchildren Sophia Goldberg, Hannah Goldberg, Thomas Bishop, and Wesley Bishop.
Memorial donations may be made to Homer Arlington Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 161, Homer, LA 71040, Cornerstone Church, PO Box 357, Homer, LA 71040 or Homer Memorial Hospital Fund PO Box 578, Homer, LA 71040.
Rose-Neath Funeral Home