Louis “Buddy” Rhodes, whose sharp wit and wry smile touched us all, was born May 17th, 1934 in New Orleans, Louisiana and died August 14th, 2018 in Overland Park, Kansas.
He was born to Louis and Marguerite Rhodes who raised Buddy across the river in Gretna. As a teenager, Buddy joined his fraternity brother, Stanley Stump, on a double date with two well-heeled girls from Metairie Country Day School. Buddy was more interested in Stanley’s date, Barbara. After several trips uptown via the Gretna Ferry and the Jackson Ave. Streetcar, he persuaded Barbara to marry him. Buddy was a salesman.
After their wedding in March, 1956, Buddy joined the U.S. Marine Corps. His service included aircraft maintenance and frequent trips to Cuba. It included only one trip to the rifle range, and famously did not include boot camp. Buddy was a salesman.
The couple then returned to New Orleans where they occupied a humble slave quarters apartment at 522 Rue Dumaine in the bustling French Quarter. Buddy continued his education, earning his Masters from Loyola. After a brief stint in teaching, he put his sales talent to work at New York Life Insurance Co. His budding career with NYLIC brought moves to Minneapolis, Dallas, Omaha, Kansas City, and Denver. Each one brought expanded responsibilities and an expanded network of wonderful, loving friends.
Buddy was building more than a career; he and Barbara were building a family. First came “The Special One" Louis Robert in 1960, then “That Middle Child” Jason in 1964, and finally, Jonathan “Oops", in 1970.
In 1999 Buddy hung up his spurs at New York Life and traded the increasingly fast-paced Denver for a slice of Ozark heaven. He and Barbara setup shop behind the 7th green at Holiday Island, Arkansas and focused full-time on friends and family. 2011 saw Bud and Barb return to K.C. Drawn back by children and grandchildren, their house in Overland Park was a place of incredible warmth; always the center of the Rhodes family universe. After Barb’s passing in 2016, Buddy moved to The Heritage in Overland Park, where despite his own health struggles, he often held court. Always flanked by kids and grandkids, his one-liners became a staple at meal time. He had the staff wrapped around his finger. Buddy was a salesman.
Buddy was impossibly charming, and appreciated the simple pleasures in life. He loved:
Mixed doubles tennis
A comfortable chair
A new car
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:
A private family ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 18th.