Col. Richard (Dusty) G. Rhodes, 94, of Destin, Fla., died peacefully Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, surrounded by family and is awaiting the return or our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
Dusty was born June 14, 1919, in Mount Vernon, Ill., to Theron and Clara Louise Rhodes, both deceased. He is survived by his beloved wife, Kitty; children, Ronald Rhodes and Sandra J. Harding; step-children, Wayne and Penny Ericksen, Shari Wierwille, and Michael and Robyn Riddle; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Dusty Rhodes graduated in 1941 with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Mo. He later went on to receive his master's in Industrial Engineering from New York University in 1959.
His illustrious military career began in 1941 with the Army Corps of Engineers. Assignments included: Battalion Commander, 168th Engineer Battalion (Combat), USAREUR; as Deputy Division Engineer, United States Army Engineer Division, North Central, Chicago, Illinois; as District Engineer, United States Army Engineer District, Okinawa; and as Chief, Construction Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Col. Rhodes' assignments included various oversea duties during World War II and the Korean War. He was highly honored and decorated, including the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.
Upon retiring in 1968, Col. Rhodes worked as the Town Manager of Jupiter Island, Fla., until the mid-70s. As resident of Niceville, Fla., since the early 80s, he enjoyed all water sports, playing bridge and golf and was active in Kiwanis and his local church.
Col. Rhodes at the age of 90 was elated to be included on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C., as a tribute to WWII veterans for their military sacrifices. He served his country with highest honors and he served those around him with kindness and generosity.
A private memorial with full military honors will be held to recognize his meritorious 26 year military career. Col. Richard Rhodes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.Twincitiescremationsfunerals.com.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on Feb. 9, 2014