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May 9, 2012

Richard “Dick” Rhodes of Lackawaxen, PA, a beloved servant leader who co-founded the National Canoe Safety Patrol and helped save countless lives on the Delaware River, passed away on April 17, 2012 following a valiant battle with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 76.

Born August 15, 1935 to the late Ralph Richard Rhodes and Katherine Rhodes, Richard is survived by his best friend and love of his life, Mary K. Rhodes; daughter Laurie Cautilli and husband Dr. George Cautilli and their children, Kristen and Megan, of Langhorne, PA; son Rich Rhodes and wife Karen and their daughter, Allison, of Conshohocken, PA; son Rand Rhodes and wife Kim and their children, Kara and Eric, of North Wales, PA; son Ryan Rhodes of Albany, NY; sister Jackie Lutz of Glendale, AZ; sister Leigh Eastwood of Audubon, NJ; sister Mary Tweedie of Souderton, PA; beloved cousin Carolyn May of Columbus, OH; and Richard’s faithful dog, Bobby.

Richard’s passion for the Delaware River led to his role as Founding Vice Commodore of the National Canoe Safety Patrol 33 years ago. [See story on page 5]. He was also a member of the American Canoe Association, American Red Cross and a Swiftwater Rescue instructor. Appointed as one of four safety teams to serve at the 1988 Nationals and 1989 World Whitewater Championships on the Savage River in Maryland, Richard also took an American team to Costa Rica in 1991 to represent the U.S. in Project Raft. Richard assisted in four Delaware River Sojourn events and worked with United Nations school children as well as with the School for the Blind.

Richard graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Psychology, and enjoyed a 40-year career with Merck and Dupont Merck Pharmaceutical in addition to his work at the Peri Institute in Washington, DC. He was a former trustee and president of Riverview Acre Property Association and Vice President of Lackawaxen River Conservancy.

A celebration of Richard’s life is scheduled for Friday, June 8 at 11 a.m. at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Rowland, PA, where Richard was a member. The Lackawaxen River Conservancy will also hold a Memorial Day on the River event to celebrate Richard’s years of service. Donations to the Richard Rhodes River Rescue Scholarship Fund can be made by sending a check to NCSP, PO Box 91, Lackawaxen, PA 18435; or visit