Randolph Lee Rhodes died on July 11, 2022. Known as Dusty to many, Randolph was born on September 23, 1928 in Lenoir, North Carolina to Robert Charlie Rhodes and Dova Luola McCall Rhodes. He graduated from Mars Hill College and Wake Forest College. He was also a graduate of the U.S. Navy Post Graduate School and the National War College.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1951. His career in naval aviation included duty in the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, South China Sea, and Mediterranean waters. He was stationed in Memphis, San Diego, Norfolk, Washington D.C., Florida, Maryland, Bermuda, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and Trinidad, among others. He was commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Facility Ramey in Puerto Rico and also Fleet Composite Squadron Six. During the Vietnam Conflict, he served as navigator of the carriers Bon Homme Richard and the Kitty Hawk. He served as the Naval Advisor to the Commanding General and Headquarters Staff of the Allied Forces of Central Europe in the Netherlands from 1975 to 1980. In 1982 he became the Navy "Grey Owl" in recognition as the longest serving Naval Flight Officer on active duty. In addition to various service commendations, he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.
Upon retiring in 1983, he became the first Zoning Official for Dorchester County. In 1986 he became Executive Director of the Greater Summerville /Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, a position he held until retirement in 1999. In 1995 he was designated as the Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year for South Carolina. He was a member and former President of the Summerville Noon Rotary Club, a member of the Navy League, the Retired Officers Association, The American Legion, as well as several professional Chamber of Commerce and community organizations including Trident United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and the Summerville YMCA. Following his retirement, he and his wife traveled widely. One of his favorite springtime travels was to the Braves spring training games at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
He is survived by his wife Emmagene, his son Brian, his daughter-in-law Garnette Tuten, granddaughter Caitlin Tuten-Rhodes, daughter Pamela, her partner Joe Blackburn, his sisters Donnie Yandle of Wilmington, NC and Arameta Warren and her husband Roger of Raleigh, NC as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Rotary Club of Summerville, SC. Military funeral honors and committal service will be held at Beaufort National Cemetary on August 5, 2022 at 11:00am.
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Randolph
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Simplicity LowCountry Cremation & Burial Services Inc | Summerville