Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Ned Otis Rhea, 77, Keokuk



Ned Otis Rhea, 77, of Keokuk, IA died Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at his home.

He was born July 1, 1944 in Grand Island, NE, the son of Wilbur and Arlene King Rhea.  Ned’s father, Wilbur, passed away in 1946, at which time Ned’s aunt and uncle, Gladys Rhea Smith Briley and William Briley of Keokuk took guardianship of Ned and raised him as their own with their children, Betty, Wanda, John, Elizabeth, William and Dorothy.

Ned entered the United States Army in November 1961.  He proudly served his country working as a teletype operator in Frankfurt, Germany.  He received his Honorable Discharge in 1964.

Ned was married to Kathy Crabtree in Keokuk in 1966.  To their marriage was born a son, Joel Lyn Rhea in 1969.  They later divorced.  Ned was united in marriage to Patricia Lynn Smith Sigler on September 4, 1976.  Ned adopted Patricia’s two children, Torrantz Sigler Rhea and Holly Claire Rhea in 1977.  To their marriage a daughter, Melissa Lynn Rhea was born in 1979. 

Upon returning to Keokuk, Ned worked at Tigue Motors, Keokuk Water Works, Sheller Globe, and Midwest Carbide as a supervisor until the closing of the plant.  He then went to Vradenburg Enterprise and ended his working career as a greeter at Keokuk Walmart where he worked for eleven years of which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Ned was an active member of the Boy Scouts of America, was a coach for the Keokuk little League and supported his children in all of their endeavors.  As a family, the Rhea’s supported the Keokuk Schools music and athletic programs, the girls’ softball program where he served as a softball umpire and also supported dancing and bowling.  Ned loved to sing and his favorite song was One Tin Soldier.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia of Keokuk, two sons, Joel Lyn Rhea (Raquel), and Torrantz Sigler Rhea (Chastity), and two daughters, Holly Claire Rhea (Michael) and Melissa Lynn Rhea (Joseph), grandchildren, Yazmin Rhea, Tatyanna Rhea, Kiersten McClain, Tori Rhea, Alex Paris Alger (Zach), Beau Paris, McKenzie Paris (Kaitlyn Maulding), Ethan Otis Rhea (Sara Nuno), great-grandchildren, Easton Alger, Lane Alger, Riley Alger, Camille Alger, Mason Paris and Legend McClain.  He is also survived by his siblings Elizabeth Briley Newberry (Rodger), Dorothy Briley Burrell (Rich) and William (Sonny) Briley.

He was preceded in death by three siblings, Betty Smith McGee, Wanda Smith Baugher and John Briley.

A graveside service with Military Rites will be held at 4:30 p.m., Friday at Keokuk National Cemetery with Milo Van Veldhuizen and Larry Connour officiating.

There will be no visitation.

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or to the family.

The Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: