His Life

Dusty's Obituary, May, 2011

Mercer G. Rhodes, known to his family and friends as Dusty, passed away on May 2, 2011, at age 75, ending an extended battle with multiple illnesses. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1935, Dusty grew up and graduated from high school there. He completed his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado in 1960.  


Dusty began working as computers began their phenomenal rise, providing him an exciting career as a corporate sales representative selling mainframe computers first for IBM and then for Hitachi. IBM brought him to Seattle, where he was a resident of Madison Park and its adjacent neighborhoods for nearly 50 years. Dusty’s ready smile, extended supply of stories, eclectic interests and ease with people gained him a broad circle of friends, most from the extended areas around Madison Park.


Dusty’s hobbies included skiing and riding motorcycles, but his primary love was boating. The most beloved of his boats was his 45’ sailboat “Windarra.” His recent cruising in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and into the northern Broughton Islands in British Columbia was in his 36’ Grand Banks “Regardless.” 


Dusty is survived by his stepsister Winona Stroman Baker, of Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, and her children Hal, Bill, Dean and Elizabeth; his stepbrother Watts Stroman and his wife Mary of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and his children Harvie and Jean, and his stepsister Jean Stroman of Atlanta, Georgia, and her children Chris, Watts and Jean. He was the son of Mercer Given Rhodes Sr and Gould Rhodes of New York City, both deceased. He is remembered and missed by a wide circle of friends in and beyond Seattle, including good friends the Tiptons in California.


A celebration of Dusty’s life will be held at the Seattle Tennis Club on June 5, 2011. Memories of Dusty may be shared at  Memorial contributions can be made to the Seattle Fire Department’s Medic I (make checks out to Medic I and send to 301 2nd Ave. S, Seattle WA 98104).