Community comes together for former Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes’ Celebration of Life

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Celebration of Life for former Mayor of Myrtle Beach John Rhodes was held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Thursday.

Rhodes died in January after a battle with COVID-19, according to the City of Myrtle Beach. He served as the Mayor of Myrtle Beach for 12 years from 2005-2017. The Celebration of Life was filled with music and speeches from several of Rhodes’ friends and former colleagues.

“If you were around John, he could make you laugh, he could make you cry, he could make you think, he could make you mad, all in the span of about 20 minutes and then he would do it all over again,” said Brad Dean, the former Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

All speakers shared John’s love for Myrtle Beach by talking about his big contributions to the city.

Rhodes served as the Executive Director for the Beach Ball Classic basketball tournament, served on the board for the Boys and Girls Club of The Grand Strand, and in creating Savannah’s Playground, an inclusive park for children with disabilities.

“I had been a playground salesman for all of nine days and I remember sitting outside his office and I thought I had no right being here, I hope this guys nice. I walked in, sat down and if you can imagine John did most of the talking. He knew exactly what he wanted and how he was going to do it,” Ed Gruetzner with Savannah’s Playground and Carolina Parks & Playgrounds said.

Dan D’Antoni, the founder of the Beach Ball Classic said, “There wasn’t a deal, a person, or situation that he couldn’t handle. He did it his way, he always did, all his life.”

Saturday, the city will unveil the Myrtle Beach Sports Center as the John T. Rhodes Myrtle Beach Sports Center.

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