Local Icon's Love Overcomes Illness - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Local Icon's Love Overcomes Illness

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COLUMBIA FALLS -

The Montanan Veteran's Home in Columbia Falls is gearing up for a wedding this weekend for the granddaughter of a pretty well known resident.

Chuck Rhodes joined the National Guard when he was 17. He stayed active for 36 years. For 27 years he worked in law enforcement in the Flathead, leading the department as sheriff for the last 8 of those years. He was one of the three original EMTs with the first ALERT search and rescue helicopter in Kalispell.

He is no doubt a local legend.

Now he suffers from Alzheimer's and his wife Kitty almost never misses a day by his side.

Sometimes, it almost seems like he's back to his normal self.

"I sang to him a little bit and he got... he said 'flowers' and I said 'flowers? Do you want me to get flowers for Kitty?' 'Yes,'" remembered Dusty Roth, his daughter.

He has spent the last four years at the Montana Vets Home, but his granddaughter Jericca wouldn't think about getting married without him there, so she's having the wedding at the home.

"The love that my mom and dad have, it overcomes his Alzheimer's," said Roth, "She wants that with her husband."

"It's going to be marvelous. It's going to be great and it's just so wonderful that they wanted to include grandpa," said Kitty.

They're going to try to pack 50 people into the room, but they're thinking about opening up the partition into the dining room because they're expecting some curiosity from some of the local residents.

"The guys and the gals they're all special," said Kitty, "They're all family so we know there's going to be ones coming down to take a peak."

Friday, they're running around picking up stuff for the wedding. Tomorrow, they're decorating the room. Sunday, Jerrica and her family hope to celebrate a love that's as powerful as her grandparent's.

We looked into just how many weddings the home has hosted in its more than one hundred year history. As far back as administrators can remember, this is the second wedding they've held at the home. The other one was held outside.

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