Ida Love Rhode

September 2, 1921March 12, 2019

Ida Smith Rhode went to be with the Lord on March 12, 2019, surrounded by members of her loving family. She was born Ida Love Ercanbrack on September 2, 1921 to Russell and Minnie Lou Ercanbrack in Newburgh, N.Y. Her father worked in the hotel business, and she lived in Oregon for much of her childhood. The family moved to Lubbock in 1934 where Ida graduated with honors from Lubbock High School in 1939.

After attending Texas Tech University for two years, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she worked at Belle Music Studio. It was there in 1940 she met Ray Smith who taught lessons at the studio and was able to play every musical instrument in the place. They married in 1942 in Rosenberg, Texas. While Ray was serving in the army in Europe, Ida lived with her mother in New York. After Ray returned, they began to grow their family with the addition of five children.

Ida returned to Texas Tech in 1961 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1964. After graduation she taught fifth grade in Shallowater, Texas, and when the family moved to Lubbock, she taught for five years at Wheatley Elementary. In 1970 Ida began teaching at Mae Murfee Elementary where she remained until she retired in 1992. While at Mae Murfee, she was active in promoting Odyssey of the Mind in Lubbock I.S.D. and coached numerous teams that went to state and National competitions. She also instrumental in the success of other innovative programs such as Future Problem Solvers, and she designed the Human Computer Club to make learning math more fun for her students.

After Ida received the Teacher of the Year Award at Murfee, and because of her continuing example as an outstanding teacher, the award was renamed the Ida Smith Terrific Teacher Award in her honor and given each year to the teacher who best exhibited excellence in teaching.

She was named the Texas Conservation Teacher of the year in 1977, and was recognized as the Texas Retired Teacher of The Year in 1994. During her years of teaching she touched the lives of hundreds of students in creative and inspiring ways. For years after her retirement, her former students came up to her and thanked her for the positive influence her teaching had on their lives. After her retirement, Ida was asked by Texas Tech to supervise students who were training be classroom teachers.

Ida had been married to Ray Smith for forty-eight years when he passed away in 1990. In 1995 she met Carman Rhode when she was 73 and he was 78. After a whirlwind courtship, they married on her 74th birthday, September 2, 1995. Since she was a devoted Texas Tech Red Raider and he was a committed A&M Aggie, a string quartet played the Texas Tech fight song and the Aggie War Hymn at their wedding. Ida and Carman spent many years traveling the world together until his death in 2009.

Ida was a passionate Red Raider fan and enthusiastically cheered on the Texas Tech football team for decades, including at the game she attended last fall at the age of 97. She was a member of First Methodist church in Lubbock, was active in Sunday school, and served meals at Second Helping, a ministry that feeds the homeless.

Ida is survived by her five children: Terral and wife Myra of Austin, Texas; Shari Manning of Houston, Texas; Lyndi and husband Rodney Criswell of Idalou, Texas; Lea Sutton of Portland, Texas; and Nancy Cooper of Ft. Worth, Texas; eight grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, as well as the Rhode family, grateful to Ida for the love and care she gave Carman during their fourteen-year marriage.

A memorial service is pending in the Bowman Chapel at the First Methodist Church in Lubbock, Texas. Burial will be at Resthaven Cemetery in Lubbock. Memorial donations may be made to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch or Lubbock Children’s Home.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Ida Love Rhode

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Lana Shelton

March 15, 2019

So thankful I was able to meet my dear friend, Lea's sweet mother, Ida. She was such a graceful and thoughtful lady. I have fond memories of her and her extended family staying at our coastal home in Corpus Christi; as she referenced the Texas Riviera! Such a lovely lady and she has extended that "Love" to her whole family. She has left you all a beautiful legacy. Sending prayers in the coming days.


Fred & Lana Shelton and family

Nikk Anderton

March 15, 2019

i was one of her students at Murfee in 1992. She never gave up on me and to this day i can still sing my twelves. She was also one of my OM coaches... taught me to love math, a wonderful woman I will never forget.