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Rheba Mae Bodiford November 7, 1929 – April 26, 2020

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GRANDVIEW – Rheba M. Chapman Bodiford, 90 passed away peacefully in her hometown of Grandview, Texas on Sunday, April 26, 2020.

Graveside: 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Grandview Cemetery, Grandview, Texas.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wheels for Wellness, Cancer Fund, PO Box 471699, Fort Worth, Texas 76147, or a charity of choice.

Rheba was born Nov. 7, 1929 in Itasca, Texas to James Melvin Chapman and Ella Mae Armstrong. She grew up in the town of Grandview and later attended Texas Wesleyan University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree, as well as meeting her husband of 58 years, Clayton Bodiford.

Rheba was one of the first teachers at Wedgewood Middle School and later taught at Eastern Hills High School.

Smartly dressed and spoken, Rheba was a delight to know. She was loving and gracious to all. Her vivaciousness lit up the room when she entered, and she was at home in any situation and made you feel the same. She always had a smile on her face. You always felt welcome in her presence.

While Rheba was a school teacher for 31 years, she was much more. She was a role model and mentor, and often took the high school students that no one else wanted or could handle. At the end of each school year, Rheba and Clayton would have all of their senior students to their lake house for a ski and swim party.

Rheba was even more active in her retirement. When she was not enjoying birdwatching and fun at the lake, she would escape to play bridge with her friends, or search for treasures to maintain her always fashionable presence at her favorite store, Neiman Marcus. She made friends wherever she went, and the Neiman’s employees fell into that
category, rolling out the red carpet treatment with hugs and welcomes when they saw her walk in. Aside from this, she was a talented seamstress and painter-painting hundreds of songbirds and flowers. Her creative abilities were unlimited, and she made the most effort to pass this along to her grandchildren.

She and Clayton also immensely enjoyed traveling the world together. They traveled the USA coast to coast-regularly hitting the ski slopes with their grandchildren and making it to Hawaii for some fun in the sun. Other stops included Europe and various island destinations.

Her friends and relatives compared Rheba to the unsinkable Molly Brown.
Rheba had the mental fortitude to continue forward regardless of what life threw at her. She survived numerous heart issues and under the expert care of Dr. Mary Milam she conquered a 10 year battle with cancer. She was a cross between the Energizer Bunny and a Timex watch. She just kept on ticking regardless of what life challenges she faced. Rheba was a genuine inspiration to all that knew her. She often said, “I’m a T exas woman and we’re tough.”.

Just before her 90th birthday, Rheba wrote: ” I am 89 years old, I still drive and I play bridge 3 times a week. God has given me a wonderful life. I can’t ask for more!”
Rheba was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton Bodiford, January 2008.

Survivors: Sons, Jerry Bodiford and wife, Janiel of Fort Worth, John Bodiford of Bryan and Ronnie Bodiford of Grandview; grandchildren, Jaime Bodiford of Palo Alto, California, Julie Middleton of Dallas, Christy Freeman of Macon, Georgia and John Bodiford of Bryan; and sister, Barbara Peppers of Grandview.

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