Erwin Dale ‘Dusty’ Rhodes, age 89, of Leawood Kansas, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2017 at Kansas City Hospice House.
Dusty was born in Denver, Colorado on December 26, 1928 to Leo and Ida Rhodes, and raised with his two brothers in Ten Sleep, Wyoming (pop. 350). He attended grades K-12 in Ten Sleep. He played high school basketball; his team winning the Wyoming State Tournament and he was named to the All-State Team in 1947.
Dusty received a full scholarship, attended and played both basketball and baseball at Northwest Center Junior College in Powell, Wyoming. He also played catcher for the Powell Semi-Pro baseball team. He transferred to Colorado State College in Greely, Colorado and then to Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana where he played both basketball and baseball and was later named to the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Dusty was a 1st Lieutenant with the Air Force and piloted a refueling squadron. His missions took him to Thule, Greenland, Goose Bay, Labrador, Guam and England. While stationed in Roswell, NM, he met his wife, Suzanne Acuff. They married in 1956.
After the service, Dusty was hired as a pilot for TWA. In 1958, he took a position as an engineer planner with Nortronics and then Lockheed, both in California. He went on to own a Budget-Rent-A-Car franchise in San Jose, CA for several years before selling and moving to Kansas City.
Dusty started Dusty Rhodes Homes, Inc. in 1966 and was both a builder and developer in the Greater Kansas City area for over 40 years. He and brothers-in-law, Phil and John Acuff, also formed a real estate company, Acuff & Rhodes Realtors. Dusty was a director at a local bank and a partner in the first Coors Distributorship in Kansas.
In his professional life, he was a long-time member of the Kansas City Home Builders Association, chairing many committees, serving as President in 1980 and served on the National Board of Directors for the National Association of Home Builders. In 1996, he was inducted into the Home Builders of Greater Kansas City Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service to the Home Building Industry.
Dusty was an ambitious, hardworking family man. He was an avid golfer, enjoyed hunting and trout fishing in Wyoming, and chaired regular poker and gin games. He always organized trout fishing and golf outings at annual family reunions.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Lawrence and Charles Rhodes. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Rhodes, his son Richard Rhodes (Cathy), daughters Linden Rhodes (Doug Reinhardt), and Elizabeth Rhodes, grandchildren Sara Mai (Bryan), Dalton Rhodes (Mollie), Dane Rhodes, Gabrielle DeFonso, Haley Rhodes, Alison Summers, Julia Reinhardt, Grant DeFonso, Jayk Rhodes, Lauren Rhodes and great-granddaughter Catherine Mai.
A celebration of life party in Dusty’s honor will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018, 2-4 pm at Hallbrook Country Club. Family, friends and work associates are invited to attend.
The family asks that any contributions be made to Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145.