James Williams Rhoda 1913 - 2012 Resident of Orinda James, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 12, just shy of his 99th birthday. A twin and the eldest of six children born to Caroline and John Rhoda. Jim leaves behind his youngest sister, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Jim was born in Oakland, California, on December 5, 1913. After living in Millers NV, and Ceres CA, the family settled in Redwood City CA, where Jim and his five siblings attended Sequoia High School. His love of sailing began as a youth when he and his brothers built and sailed their own boats, and were members of the Sea Scouts. The Rhoda boys' skill on the water was equal on the football field where Jim was named team captain. In both sports they excelled, won many awards, and enjoyed local fame. Jim attended San Mateo College and San Francisco State where he studied Engineering and Business. He went to work for the Henry J. Kaiser Company, eventually supervising a crew in the Richmond ship yards during the war effort, and was later employed by the Hugh M. O'Neil Company, from which he retired in his seventies. After retirement he acquired an architect's license. His career in civil engineering offered him the opportunity to work on many monumental projects in the Bay Area and across the country. Jim's passion for sailing, and his enduring success as a champion in the sport, continued throughout his life. He was instrumental in establishing the Island Yacht Club in Alameda and served as their commodore for several years. He was also a principal promoter of the Santana 22 Sailing Association. Because of his friendly and helpful nature, Jim was well-liked by his fellow sailors, his neighbors, and his friends at church. At his Orinda home of 56 years, Jim's children and grandchildren, and many children from the neighborhood were the lucky recipients of some of his wealth of knowledge of; sailing, drawing, mathematics, building, and of playing games. He leaves behind a legacy rich with warm, sometimes challenging or crazy, but always fabulously fun memories to the children who knew him. Jim had the ability to make everyone around him feel special. He will be missed by all who were inspired by his fun loving, energetic, and outgoing personality.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Oct. 24, 2012.