James Edward Rhineheart died peacefully Sunday, January 12, 2020 into the next life at his home. He was born Sept. 11, 1942, to Ruth and Thomas (Buddy) Edward Rhineheart in Deermont, Arkansas. His family moved to Heber, when James was two years old, and it was here that he began his life-long love affair with baseball.
James played Little League and then continued playing throughout school as a left fielder. In Snowflake High School, he also played softball as a pitcher, where he was known for breaking catcher’s hands! He was recruited to play baseball professionally but was too young, so he played on city teams and coached pitching at Show Low High School. He was also an “armchair coach” for his beloved Diamondbacks, much to the amusement of this family.
In the third grade, James met Margaret Ann Crandell and told her that he would marry her someday. She responded by slapping him across the face! It took a few more years, but eventually he convinced her and they were married June 16, 1961 in the Mesa Temple.
James worked as a logger for many years and then for Arizona Water Company. He and Margaret Ann opened a pizza parlor called “Family Pizza” in Heber, but after a fire burned down their home, they moved to Show Low, where James worked for the City of Show Low as a Grade 4 Water and Sewer Operator until he retired in 2002. After retirement, James and Margaret Ann served as workers in the Snowflake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He was a dedicated husband, and father and found the most joy in teasing and spoiling his “little Shee-I-T’s” (grandchildren). He was a great example of love, faith and service.
James will be forever remembered by his wife of 59 years, Margaret Ann; and their three children, Annette (Tim), Tony (Terra) and Justin (April); as well as his nine grandchildren: Trey, Taylor, Malori (Jon), Laney, Tanner (Haeley), Alexa, Nicole, A.J., and Kayla; and his four great grandchildren-Roman, Aven, Parker, and Elliot.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Buddy, his brother Mitt and grandson Taylor.
A viewing will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Owens Livingston Mortuary-White Mountain Chapel, 320 N. 9th St. in Show Low. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18t, at the Heber LDS Church, Hwy 260 in Heber, with an additional viewing one hour prior. Burial will follow at the Heber Cemetery.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low handled arrangements.
For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign an online guest book, visit www.owenslivingstonmortuary.com.