Peter Rhodes

Peter Rhodes Longtime Mill Valley resident Peter Rhodes passed away in his home on September 12th at the age of 93. Peter was born January 22, 1920 in Manchester, England and emigrated to San Francisco in 1926 where he immediately commenced selling papers on the tramcars of Fillmore Street. In 1930 Peter moved with his parents to Mill Valley where he worked for many years as a weekend caddy at the golf course. Peter claimed he was never without a job and in fact worked until he was 90. Peter was a graduate of Old Mill School, Tamalpais High School and Stanford University, claiming he majored in football at all three institutions. He was a member of Stanford University's only undefeated football team, which was designated as the "Wow Boys" in 1940. Peter was drafted into the Army but due to his status as an alien, he was unable to enter the officer reserve program which would have deferred his entry into active service until graduation. It took him four years of service as an enlisted man before he received his citizenship, thus making him eligible to become an officer. Although he never served overseas, he was in the following branches of military service: Infantry, Cavalry, Armored Force, Air Corps, Counter Intelligence Corps and Medical Department. In 1946, Peter and his late father, Sydney, founded P. J. Rhodes Corporation, an export company still in existence. Peter traveled overseas extensively and was fluent in German and Spanish. He also had a working knowledge of several other languages including Filipino and Japanese. Up until a few weeks of his passing he would sing German folksongs followed with an English translation. Peter is survived by his beloved wife of nearly forty-nine years, Jean; children Philip Rhodes, Constance Rhodes, Nancy Hanson, William Rhodes; step-children Scott Kohler, Russell Kohler and Kimberly Kohler; ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his dear sister Peggy. Peter touched the lives of all whom had the great joy of knowing him including business partners and friends in Asia and South America and the many bus drivers, commute companions, and people he met hitchhiking to and from bus stops for so many decades in and round Mill Valley, San Francisco and Novato. He loved to share his stories and experiences, whether it was with a new acquaintance, alumni, friend or family. We are all blessed we had him for so many years, and although he will be deeply missed, our hearts are consoled by knowing that he was truly happy and grateful for the wonderful life he lived. Donations may be made to Hospice by the Bay. Upon his request, no services will be held.

Published in Marin Independent Journal from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17, 2013