Denise Rachelle Rhoades
February 2, 1950 - June 1, 2023

Denise “Deni” or “Aunt Noodles” Rachelle Rhoades, 73, of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, passed away on June 1, 2023.

Ms. Rhoades was born on February 2, 1950, in Omaha, Nebraska to the late Ray John Rhoades and Mary Bernadette Smyth.

She is survived by sisters, Debby Smith (Ron) of Southport, NC and Rhonda Piernicky (Tom) of Killeen, TX; nephews, Carson R. Smith (Heidi) and Christopher R. Smith (Erin); nieces, Shalean Rowe (Curtis) and Wendy Klock; grandnieces and grandnephews, Emerson Smith, Ethan Smith, Elle Smith, Harriet Smith, Benjamin Smith, Amanda Rowe, Emily Rowe, Danica Rowe, and Madelyn Rose Graham; and many cousins (aka, her dear Cuzzies).

In addition to her parents, Deni is preceded in death by her beloved grandnephew, Graham Christopher Smith.

Deni spent most of her lively career in police work and security, which she loved. She was a police officer at Omaha Eppley Airport. She continued her security work for many years as a Railroad Police Officer for the Burlington Northern Railroad in the Chicago area. Qualifying marksmanship was part of her ongoing career requirements and Deni proved to be quite the accomplished sharpshooter at the gun range.

To say Deni was a passionate, loyal Nebraska Football fan was a huge understatement. She would print off the upcoming season schedule as soon as it became available each summer and start prepping midweek for each upcoming game. On game days, she would be texting with family members in all her Big Red regalia, while alternately cheering and yelling at the TV screen. She even enjoyed watching reruns of her favorite games during the off-season. In addition to Nebraska Football, she was also a loyal Chicago Cubs fan and was thrilled when they took home both the pennant and World Series.

Deni dearly loved the American Flag and all it stood for. She displayed it everywhere, from her checkbook cover to her clothing, home décor, and car.

Family and friends were important to Deni. Her nieces and nephews loved her so much and remember as children, how excited they’d be when their Aunt Noodles would pull up in Columbus with her General Lee car horn. They knew the real fun was about to start!

Her last year was spent living at Sunset Creek Commons and was another bright spot in her life. She made and enjoyed many friends there, including her dear and helpful next-door neighbor, Sue and her dog, Honey. Deni would keep dog treats and a special rug on hand for Honey.

Throughout her life, Deni touched the lives of countless people with her kindness, generosity, and wisdom. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

A memorial celebration will be held in Omaha, Nebraska at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an animal shelter or any cause of your choice in Deni’s memory.

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