In Memory of

Richard

"Dick"

Rhodes

Obituary for Richard "Dick" Rhodes

Richard (Dick) Albert Rhodes passed away on July 6, 2023 at age 88. He had a battle with Parkinson’s disease and gave it all it could handle.

Dick leaves behind his beloved wife of 67 years, Helen Rhodes. He was the loving father to his daughter Sheryl Egan, her husband Matt of Windham, NH and his son Steven Rhodes, his wife Cara of West Dennis (formerly of Needham). Dick was the proud grandfather of Bradley Egan and his wife Kathy Gasperine of Concord, Mallory Kidd and husband Jon of Atkinson, NH, Cameron Egan and his fiancé Megan McDougall of Boston, Ryan Rhodes of South Boston, and Tucker Rhodes of Venice Beach, CA. In addition, Dick was blessed with three great grandsons, Dermot Egan and Grayson and Asher Kidd. Dick is survived by his brother Robert Rhodes of Sudbury and sister-in-law Phyllis Hultstrom of Hampden as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Irene Rhodes and brother-in-law, Kenneth Hultstrom.

Dick was a gentleman in every sense of the word, accumulating a wide circle of friends and always willing to contribute or lend a hand for a good cause. He was also, without question, fiercely competitive by nature. If there was a game to be played, he was there to coach or participate on the front-line. He never gave up or turned down a challenge. That is how he raised his children and what defines both Sheryl and Steven today. He always enjoyed watching them and his grandchildren compete, driving any distance to see them in action and encourage them on from the sideline.

Born in Concord, Massachusetts on October 18, 1934, the son of State Trooper Robert S. F. Rhodes and Lydia (Frost) Rhodes, he was raised in South Acton and graduated from Acton High School, class of ‘52. While at Acton, Dick was a standout athlete, covering second-base on the diamond and was a member of the 1951 Championship basketball team which was inducted into the Colonial Club Hall of Fame in 2009. He was unanimously voted captain his senior year, a year in which the team went on to win 20 games in a row and make it all the way to the State Finals. Dick also served as a member of Acton’s Athletic Association.

After high school, Dick enlisted in the US Air Force, serving at bases in CA and NY. He was then selected to be part of the Military Air Police and stationed in St. John’s Newfoundland. It was there, in 1954-55, that he made history as part of the US Air Force Air Police rowing crew. They were the first foreign team to ever win the St. John’s Regatta, the oldest regatta in the western hemisphere. This event earned the crew’s placement in The Royal St. Johns Regatta Hall of Fame in 2005.

Dick left the Air Force in 1956 and came home to Acton to marry his high school sweetheart, Helen Wetherbee. A true storybook tale. They made their home in Boxborough and Acton for more than forty years. During that time, he became a founding member of the Boxborough Minutemen, served on the Boxborough Board of Assessors, coached various youth sports teams and served as the ‘78-79’ President of the ABRHS Hockey Boosters. Dick was always a community man in all places of residence.
Dick’s work life began as a purchasing agent at Bowl-Mor in Littleton and progressed to a 25+ year career at Digital Equipment Corporation where he proudly held a low badge number. He rose to be the Purchasing Manager for the Eastern Region. He also enjoyed a second career buying for North American Industries Cranes in Woburn for a number of years after retiring from Digital.

The “Captain” loved boating and Cape Cod. He and Helen retired to the Cape in 1995 and had unending good times there with family and friends on their boat, fishing, clamming, golfing and at barbecues. A particular highlight was their 50th wedding anniversary bash where he and Helen danced the night away like they had in dance halls around the state in younger days. Dick loved his Wrinkle Point neighborhood and the many dear friends he had in the community. During his time serving as dock master on the WP Board, he was most proud of securing the approval for the Marina’s expansion.

Dick’s life on Cape Cod fostered some of the fondest memories his family can recall. He opened his doors and boat to all. From the endless games of pool, trips to the beaches, sunny days on the water, and the wholesome, yet fiercely competitive, mini-golf outings. Family and friends will carry with them countless memories under his hospitality, and will never forget the ways in which he brought joy and lessons of good character to their lives. Both then and now his legacy lives on.

He was a true American. He was a handyman extraordinaire, able to MacGyver anything, never paying someone to fix something he could do himself. He was the ultimate negotiator, in work and in life. A consummate family man. A man of principled values, and if you didn’t follow them, you’d be the first to know. A charmer of all, from the waitresses at his table to those who took care of him as his health declined. The family would like to thank his caregivers at Windham Terrace Assisted Living for the last two years of caring and compassion.

God speed Dad, there is one set of footsteps now. We love you and will miss all that you were.

Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours on Thursday, July 13th from 10:00AM-12:00PM in the Acton Funeral Home 470 Massachusetts Avenue (Rt. 111) Acton. A service will follow at 12:00PM in the funeral home and all are invited to a luncheon at Frolic & Detour in Nagog Park, Acton MA after the service. The burial will be private.