James Rhew

Obituary of James Milton Rhew

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James Milton "Pete" Rhew went home to be with The Lord Friday, April 28, 2023, at Duke University Medical Center. Born February 12, 1949, he was the only son of the late Al Victor Rhew and late Mary Lee Tilley Rhew of Rougemont. After the death of his mother, he and his sister, Vicki Ann Rhew Compton were raised by their "grandaddy" the late James Cyrus Tilley. One of his most special bonds was with his big sister, who preceded him in death, and his brother-in-law, Paul Compton. He grew up in Rougemont and Efland but for the majority of his life, has called Cedar Grove, NC home. He attended Orange High in Hillsborough.

On June 28, 1968, he welcomed his only son, Jeffrey Michael Rhew into the world. In his younger years, Pete was known for his modified fast-pitch softball skills and that fame carried into his later years. Many people would still comment on his knuckleball and the home runs he would hit. He often told his great-niece, Rhiley Crabtree, if you didn't want to run bases then you had to learn how to hit home runs. There were many fabled stories of his youth from being a bouncer at the legendary Bowery in Myrtle Beach during the days of Alabama to weekends boating and camping at Kerr Lake with friends and family. He owned ski boats for the majority of his life and was always willing to teach anyone how to ski or kneeboard. He has always loved Chevy trucks and was a member of a truck club for many years. In more recent years you would often see him riding around Cedar Grove in one of his trucks.

On June 29th, 1985 he married the love of his life, Lou Ann Hicks Rhew of Hillsborough, and enjoyed almost 38 years of marriage. They built a life together, first in Efland and then at Orange Lake in Cedar Grove, where he built their forever home by hand. He loved living on the lake and was known for his 4th of July celebrations complete with epic firework displays. He loved his horses and had many wonderful tales of trail rides, parades, and barrel racing competitions with his friends. He owned his own company, JMR Landscaping, and worked right up until he went into the hospital, with his great-nephew, Will Crabtree. He believed in hard work and strived to instill that into his family. He had high standards and believed in doing things right the first time. Every spring he would be found planting a huge garden with corn stalks that seemed to grow 10 feet tall and when it snowed he always made sure everyone had a place to play. On Sunday mornings he could be found at the Farm & Garden and during the week at Griffin’s General Services, both places always among friends. He was known to many as Uncle Pete, a name given to him by his niece Paula Crabtree in 1978 and he embodied an uncle who was cherished and could always be counted on.

He will be remembered for keeping everyone straight, sharing his unfiltered opinions and honesty, his big heart that got softer with age, his ability to fix anything, his strength and toughness, and the love he had for his family. If he loved you then you knew he was going to take care of you.

He is survived by his wife Lou Ann Hicks Rhew of Cedar Grove, son Jeff Rhew of Mebane, granddaughter Megan (Brandon) Moize of Graham, brother-in-law Paul Compton of Cedar Grove, niece and nephew-in-law, Paula and Keith Crabtree of Cedar Grove, great-nephew and niece Will and Rhiley Crabtree of Cedar Grove, in-laws Bill and Faye Hicks of Hillsborough and a host of dear, treasured friends.

The family will hold a private memorial at a later date.

Walker's Funeral Home of Hillsborough is assisting the family.

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