Carole Lee Rhiley (Roudebush)

Carole Lee Rhiley (Roudebush), age 90

January 21, 2021 Wichita, KS 


The beloved matriarch and cornerstone of the Rhiley family was called home to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Having fought and defeated cancer previously, a rematch ended decidedly in a draw.  She was surrounded by family and loved ones. 


She will be forever remembered as the:  

Loving Mother of Bill (Diana) Wellington, KS; Pam Tropp Wichita, KS; Terry (Cynthia) Elko, NV; Dan (Naomi) Bennington, NE.

Forever daughters-in-law: Carol Rhiley Cheyenne, WY; and Beverly Callaghan Bowling Green, KY. 

Wonderful Grandmother of Billy, David (Sarah), Mike, Tony (Ashley), Leesa, Matthew (Donette), Danni, Sarah (Jason), Amanda.    

Adoring Great-Grandmother of Malena, Ashlyn, Brietta, Gemma, Abigail, Dessirae (Christopher), Kaitlin, Andrew, Zachary, Jacksen, Masen, Bryanna, Jacob, Samantha, Kelsey, Raylyn, Karlyn  

Amazed Great-Great-Grandmother of Cedric.   

Favorite Aunt of King (Barb) Rhiley. 

Survived by: stepsister Betty Hyde; sister-in-law Norma Roudebush; brother-in-law Robert (Shirley) Rhiley; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband Jack, her parents Tom and Helen (McKune) Roudebush, stepmother Minda, stepbrother John Duffin, her brother Harold and granddaughter Stacey. 


Carole was born to Tom and Helen in Lewellen, NE. Her mother died when she was 2½. Carole and Harold were raised by her grandmother Sarah until her father remarried. They moved to Weiser, Idaho and later to La Grande, OR. Carole eventually moved back to be with her family back in Oshkosh, NE. where she found work as a nurse at the small hospital. She met her husband Jack in high school and they were married in 1947, when she was 17. They moved to the ranch at Creighton, SD in 1948. They started out with a 2-room wooden house with only a wind generator for electricity and an outhouse. Through the years she made it a wonderful home for the family for many years. 

She raised her four children on the ranch, atop of the river breaks where the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche rivers meet. The children attended school in a one-room schoolhouse which they occasionally walked to. Unfortunately, it was located uphill, seven miles from their home and from the way they tell it, surrounded by year-round snow.   

She cooked for the family and the wheat harvest crew. She learned to shoot and sew and loved to read and do crafts with the children. Carole always tried to encourage the children to learn and do new things. 

One summer, she loaded up the car and took the kids on an adventure to Disneyland and to visit family in California. She was a 4-H leader for the Eager Beavers and member of the Creighton Bees Extension Club. She also enjoyed Friday night bowling in Wall. 

In 1969 the family moved to Rapid City, SD where the children completed school. Carole went to work manufacturing circuit boards and completed her GED at the age of 57, the top of her class. She moved with Jack as he worked road construction. They moved to Elmo, WY where Jack worked for the coal mines. They finally settled in Wichita, KS near their eldest son Bill.   

Carole loved to travel and would frequently drive to visit her family in Nebraska, Minnesota, Nevada, Florida, California, Oregon and Arizona. Her family lovingly gave her the nickname of the Roadrunner! After Jack passed away in 2001, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and toured Ireland and Hawaii. 

She embraced life on the prairie, the challenges and hardships of raising a family on a ranch 36 miles from the nearest town. 

Carole raised an incredible family of hard working, patriotic, and caring people. She will be remembered for her resilience, compassion, and laughter. She has been a close friend and confidant throughout our lives and filled us with love and acceptance.  

Mom was proud of her hard-working children and the fact that from a one room school house on the prairie they became: a politician/special needs teacher; a graphic designer/an award-winning photographer; a master diesel mechanic/IT specialist; and a successful business owner/master mechanic.

We will have a Celebration of Life in Oshkosh, NE, in April when she is laid to rest next to Dad.

If you would like to send a memorial in her honor, please send it to her favorite charity Victory in the Valley in Wichita, that provides support to cancer patients & their families. It encourages cancer patients on their journey by offering HOPE through emotional and spiritual support, while providing services to improve the quality of their lives. Go to

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