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WAYNESVILLE — Michael McKay Rhinehart, 72, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Autumn Care Nursing Home.

A native and lifelong resident of Haywood County, he was the son of the late McKay and Vivian McDowell Rhinehart.

He was a 1965 graduate of Canton High School and a 1966 graduate of A-B Tech. Afterward he began work at Newport News Ship Building where he worked until he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a helicopter door gunner and in maintenance.

After proudly serving his country, Michael began a 36- year career with Champion International and retired in 2011. He was a compassionate, loving and caring man.

His happy place was Panama City Beach. Michael enjoyed golfing, fishing and was an excellent cook. He was fun-loving and an awesome storyteller often times making you laugh until your sides hurt with his antics. Michael’s family and friends were a very important part of his life.

He is survived by his wife, of eight years, Sharon Shook Rhinehart; three sons, Evan Rhinehart (Gina) of Canton, Alan Rhinehart of Waynesville and David Rhinehart of Canton; a sister, Kathy Peek (Bob) of Waynesville; two stepdaughters, Holly Kelley of Houston, Texas and Cynthia Soesbee of Sharpsburg, Georgia; and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Rev. Eric Hill officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home. Military honors will be conducted by the U.S. Army.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Cancer Society, 154 Milestone Way, Greenville, SC 29615 or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

The care of Michael has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

To send flowers to the family of Michael Rhinehart, please visit Tribute Store.
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