ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Three consecutive calls from his mother during class indicated to Joshua Rhodes that she had something important to tell him.
"One or two, it's nothing wrong, but if it's three, then I need to get out of class and answer the phone," said Daniel Rhodes' son, Joshua Rhodes.
Rhodes said his mother was calling to share the unthinkable. His father, Daniel Rhodes, was killed in a car accident on Highway 21 while heading to work in Alto. Without hesitation, Joshua left class and drove home to console his mom and sister.
"I'm trying to be there for my family. I'm trying to take care of things from the business end," said Joshua Rhodes.
Daniel owned a sawmill in Alto, where he had 7 employees. Joshua hopes to find a buyer for his father's business that will keep it going because achievement meant so much to his father.
"He really instilled in me that I could do anything I wanted," said Joshua Rhodes.
As he handles business, Joshua's mother, Jan Rhodes, clutches a prayer she wrote to her husband 5 years ago, celebrating their love for each other.
"Keep His hand upon us and fill us with His Holy Spirit and to protect us from evil," said Jan Rhodes. "I pray that we have many more years together to share, whatever the Lord has planned for us. I love you, Jan."
Jan says Daniel's strong faith bonded them together for 33 years. When they met, he'd just begun preaching and continued to preach until his death. After yesterday's events, Jan says she feels she has to remind her son to be cautious while he's on the road.
"I told my son three times this morning, be careful when you're driving. And, I told him, I said I know I sound like a mom," said Jan Rhodes. "And, I will try to not say that all the time."
Joshua plans to take time off from graduate school at UT to stay at home with his mom in the coming months.