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Longtime Grants Pass resident “Dusty” Kenneth Paul Rhodes died peacefully at home in La Quinta, California on June 23rd 2019. He was born October 28, 1937 in Toppenish, Yakima County, Washington, son of Thomas Mathias Rhodes and Thelma May Ketterman. He was raised in the farming community of Yakima, Washington. Upon his graduation from Grandview High School he joined the US Coast Guard and served a four-year tour as Sonar Man First Class. While stationed in Long Beach, California he met Jeannette Cogar and they married on October 31 1958. At the end of his tour in 1960 the young couple with one-year old daughter Diann moved to Grants Pass where they raised their three children Diann, Bryan and Lisa. Dusty owned 48 States News Distributing Company and brought the business from California to Grants Pass which his daughter Diann purchased the family business upon his retirement.
Dusty was very active in the community yet claimed not to be a joiner of organizations; however, he was a lifetime member of the Masonic Order, Grants Pass Lodge No 84, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Medford and Hillah Shrine. Other organizations included Elks Lodge, Eagles Lodge, Oregon Cavemen, Josephine County Sportsman Association, Allen Dale and South Middle School Scholarship Committees, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary 13th District, where he served in the newly organized Department of Homeland Security. Dusty was proud to be a founding member of “Paws”, the Josephine County Sheriff’s K9 program and was a Volunteer for the Oregon State Police with his brother Carl Rhodes. He was a Senior Girl Scout Troup Leader and served on the Winema Council Finance Committee. With his good friend Hank Geiske, Dusty helped build Agnew baseball field and worked on the All Sports Park. He also helped build many Josephine County boat ramps. Dusty enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. Dusty and Jeannette donated a primitive camp site, on Carberry Creek to the Oregon Fish and Game to preserve the property for wildlife and elk migration.
In December 2018, due to his health, he and his wife of 60 years moved to La Quinta to be near family. He leaves wife Jeannette, daughter Diann Gilbertson of Indio, California and Lisa Finch of San Diego, California; four granddaughters Nicole Trigg of La Quinta, California, Danielle Strother of Forest Grove, Oregon, Taylor Finch of Boulder, Colorado and Jordan Finch of San Diego, California and five great-grandchildren Tristan, Walker and Olivia Trigg and Lucy and Mylee Strother. Son Bryan died in 1984. Dusty was the youngest of seven children and surviving him are Carl Rhodes of Grants Pass, Betty Jones of Ellensburg, Washington and Donna Brock of Washington.
Donations may be given to the Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon and Josephine County 4-H Programs. His remains will be placed near the Rogue River where he and his wife spent many years fishing.
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