In Memoriam: Richard “Dick” Rhoda

Former multi-sport athlete Richard “Dick” Rhoda died June 12, 2023 at the age of 92. Born in Shillington, he was the son of textile mill worker William “Wit” Rhoda and hospital administrator Kathryn Long.

At Shillington High School, Rhoda was on the varsity football, basketball, track, and swim teams. John Updike’s father, Wesley, coached the swim team and was an assistant coach on the football team, and Rhoda’s son, Jeff, recalled his father telling him that a “classmate, John Updike, would stop by his family home with his father to help count the concession stand proceeds after games.”

“My father had a Huck Finn childhood,” Jeff Rhoda said. “He hunted with his father and trapped muskrats before school and then sold them for 10 cents each.” The younger Rhoda also said his father “grew up in Amish country and enjoyed his scrapple and shoofly pie.” He added, “My parents rarely missed a happy hour at the end of the day. My father had a daily cigar.”

Rhoda later attended Albright College, where he was the starting point guard on the basketball team, after which he received a degree in pharmacy from Philadelphia Pharmaceutical (later Philadelphia College of the Sciences). He worked as a pharmacist for most of his life, and also coached youth football in his community. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Irene McLaughlin, a retired Baltimore County Library administrator; two sons, Rich Rhoda of Centerville, Ohio and Jeff Rhoda of Baltimore; a daughter, Sharon Hovde of Madison, Wis.; six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. The John Updike Society offers their condolences.

A life celebration will be held August 8 on what would have been the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary at a location to be announced.

Read the full obituary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *