John Marshall Rhiner


(Mar. 20, 2007)

John Marshall Rhiner died Tuesday, March 20 at his home in Cody, just two months after reaching his goal to live to be 100. He was born Jan. 20, 1907, in Hardy, Iowa, the youngest of five boys born to John Rhiner and Ella Lizette (Zuerbuller) Rhiner.

He attended the Hardy school through the eighth grade, and then high school in Bussey, Iowa, for about a year before dropping out. He then lived with several of his brothers in Minneapolis, Chicago, and finally, Kansas City, Mo. He worked for Sears Roebuck and Co., there while attending Kansas City School of Law in the evenings. He received his doctorate in law in 1937.

John was drafted into the Army in 1943 and stationed at Fort Custer, Mich. He was sent to the Military Government School and then sent to Casablanca. After several years in the service, he returned to Kansas City and worked in the Office of Price Adjustment, and later the Social Security Administration. He moved to Worland as manager in 1951; then to Cody in 1961 to open the first office there. He retired in 1968, but never slowed down. He served on the Northwest College Foundation board and the Investment Committee for many years.

John and Ruth M. Lovelace were married Aug. 28, 1935. Ruth would often tell the story of their wedding day supper, where they split a bowl of soup because that's all they could afford. They never had children of their own, but they sponsored many students to attend Northwest College in Powell. They were generous supporters of many foundations and causes including the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Humane Society, Cody Rec Center, and the Boys & Girls Club.

After John's retirement, they traveled all over, including a trip to Peru as well as their yearly trip to Sekiu, Wash., to salmon fish. Ruth died in 2004 at the age of 100, and John set his goal to live to 100 also. He was always active and eager to see what was happening in the world.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ruth, and all four of his brothers. Cremation has taken place and no services are planned at his request. Memorial donations may be made to Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody, or to a charity of choice.

Ballard Funeral Home, Cody, was in charge of arrangements.