James J. "Jim" Rhoades, Sr. (R29) Carbon, Monroe (Part) and Schuylkill Counties, 1981- 2002 (R29) Berks (Part), Carbon (Part), Lehigh (Part), Monroe (Part), Northampton (Part) and Schuylkill Counties 2003-2009
James J. "Jim" Rhoades, Sr., born, December 5, 1941, Waterbury, Connecticut, son of Earl and Stella Krankowski Rhoades; Mahanoy City High School, 1959; East Stroudsburg University (B.S.), 1964; Lehigh University (M.Ed.), 1966; graduate studies, Bloomsburg University, East Stroudsburg University; married, Mary Edith Holland; children, Alisa Rhoades Hobbs, James J. Rhoades Jr., Michael D. Rhoades; teacher, football coach, Pottsville High School, Mahanoy City High School; principal, Mahanoy Area Junior High School; unsuccessful campaign Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1978; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1981-2008; died, October 18, 2008 (aged 66), Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania; interment Saint Canicus Cemetery, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Teacher, football coach, Pottsville High School, Mahanoy City High School; principal, Mahanoy Area Junior High School.
Lions Club, Travelers Protective Association Post Q, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 695, Humane Fire Company, all of Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County Sportsman’s Association, Phi Delta Kappa, Schuylkill County Chapter National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, Jerry Wolman Chapter Sports Hall of Fame, National Rifle Association, Ancient Order of Hibernians in America Incorporated, Saint Canicus Chapter.
Unsuccessful campaign Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1978
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 29th district, Carbon, Monroe (Part) and Schuylkill Counties, 1981- 2002, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 29th district, Berks (Part), Carbon (Part), Lehigh (Part), Monroe (Part), Northampton (Part), and Schuylkill Counties, 2003-2009; Special Committee on Interscholastic Athletics, 1999; co-chairman, Coal Caucus; member, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), State Board of Education, Education Committee of States, Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board; committee assignments, Appropriations, Education (Chairman), Environmental Resources and Energy, Law and Justice, Transportation; served until his death, October 18, 2008; posthumously re-elected 64%, vote, meaning, special election would be held for his seat; March 3, 2009, Republican State Representative Dave Argall 62% Democratic opponent, Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Steven Lukach, 38%.
Daughter, Ali Rhoades, married, Christopher Hobbs, son of Fred Hobbs, 29th district, Carbon and Schuylkill Counties 1967-1972 29th district, Carbon, Monroe (Part) and Schuylkill Counties 1973-1976.
Son, Michael D. Rhoades, current men's basketball head coach, Pennsylvania State University; former men's basketball head coach, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rice University.
Cousin, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, former bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, current bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Died, hospital, October 18, 2008, day after an automobile accident near Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, Monroe County. En route to a Pleasant Valley High School football game. His wife, Mary, also injured in the crash. Thomas Senavitis was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence and causing the accident with a blood alcohol level of 0.355%, over 4 times the Pennsylvania state limit of 0.08%.
"Jim's passing is a tremendous loss for Pennsylvania," Gov. Ed Rendell said in a statement. "He was a great person and a tremendous fighter for schoolchildren in the commonwealth. He tried to work across the aisle. Public education has lost its champion in the state Senate. "I was looking forward to having Jim in the state Senate as a strong advocate for education for years to come."
The Pennsylvania Manual, (1999-2000). Crowell, G.; Secretary, Department of General Services. (Volume 114) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 3-37, 3-41; Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-20.
The Pennsylvania Manual, (2007-2008). Trostle, S., (Editor). (Volume 118). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, page 3-34, 3-40. Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-22.
Pennsylvania General Assembly. SENATE RESOLUTION 6 P.N. 105 (state.pa.us)
Pennsylvania General Assembly. 2005-01-04. Sj20050104.pdf (state.pa.us)
Pennsylvania General Assembly. 2008-11-20. Sj20081120.pdf (state.pa.us)
Kestenbaum, Lawrence. The Political Graveyard: Watkins-Rhoades-Hobbs family of Pennsylvania . The Political Graveyard.