Clarence "Dusty" Rhodes

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Clarence "Dusty" Rhodes Okemos Clarence "Dusty" Rhodes was born August 8, 1927 and died peacefully following a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's on August 28, 2010. He was born in Flint, Michigan to Walter H. Rhodes and Edith Gleason Rhodes. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Jack and Leon, and his stepson, Paul Sikarskie. He is survived by his wife, Marcia; 5 children, Martha (Mark) Bashore, Beth (Greg) Boyd, Jane (Jim) Wolfe, Dan (Julie) Rhodes and Matt (Caryn) Rhodes; his former wife, Mary Rhodes; 2 stepchildren, David Sikarskie and Anya (Brian) Anderson; and 9 grandchildren. He graduated from Flint Central in 1945 then served in the US Navy 1945-1946. He graduated from MSU in 1950 with a degree in broadcasting and began his radio career at WKAR in East Lansing. He often spoke of how fortunate he was to have benefited from the GI Bill. He worked in radio throughout Michigan until 1964 when he became vice-president of Panax Corp. which expanded his career to include newspaper publishing and television until 1974. His international career in TV news began as president of UPITN in London. With UPITN he traveled extensively around the globe. Under his leadership it expanded to serve 120 clients in over 70 countries. He established the first daily international satellite news transmission. Upon retirement from TV news he returned to his home town of Okemos. With a new appreciation of international cuisine and wine, he founded a series of businesses starting with Elysee Boulangerie in 1980, Dusty's Cellar in 1981, Dusty's Wine Bar in 1987 and Dusty's English Inn 1990. All of his children worked with him before moving on to careers of their own. His son Matt purchased the Cellar and Wine Bar in 1995 and now employs numerous staff including third generation family members. One of Dusty's great loves was to welcome fans to Spartan Stadium with the words "This is Dusty Rhodes your Saturday spokesman for Spartan Football". He would close with the phrase "Please drive as if your family is in the other car." He loves MSU sports and did radio play by play for many years including the famous 1966 10-10 tie with Notre Dame. In 2005 MSU honored Dusty for his contributions to the university and the community by granting him a Distinguished Alumni Award. He served this community as a member of the Okemos School Board and was actively involved in the OAKS athletic program. He loved his wife Marcia and together took great pleasure in their home and gardens on Buttercup Lane, their cottage near Bath, England and their love of good food, good wine and one another. In spite of a very humble childhood, he became an incredibly positive life force. He shared with family, friends and customers, an appreciation for the finer things in life, but more so for the simple pleasures of family, health and happiness. We will all miss his energy, enthusiasm kindness and positive outlook on life. He loved us all and we loved him very much. The Memorial Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, September 1, 11:00 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd., East Lansing with Rev. Mark Inglot, officiating. The family will receive friends at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E Grand River Avenue, East Lansing Monday from 6-8 p.m. and Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. with the Scripture service at 7:30 p.m. Those desiring may make contributions to the , 310 N. Main St., Suite 100, Chelsea, MI 48118 in memory of Dusty. On line condolences may be sent to www.gorslineruncimaneastlansing.com

Published in Lansing State Journal on Aug. 30, 2010
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