James J. "Jim" Rhoades (R29), Lehigh, Berks, Carbon, Monroe, Northampton and Schuylkill Counties, 1980- 2008
James J. "Jim" Rhoades (R), born, December 5, 1941, Waterbury, Connecticut, son of Earl and Stella Krankowski; 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; daughter, Alisa Rhoades Hobbs, sons, James J. Rhoades Jr., Michael D. Rhoades; died October 18, 2008 (aged 66) Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, interment Saint Canicus Cemetery, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.(i)
Teacher and football coach, Pottsville High School, Mahanoy City High School; former principal, Mahanoy Area Junior High School; member, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), State Board of Education, Education Committee of States, Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, Phi Delta Kappa, Lions Club, Order of Elks, Humane Fire Company #1, Schuylkill County Chapter National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, Jerry Wolman Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, National Rifle Association, Saint Canicus Chapter.
Elected, Republican, 29th district, Pennsylvania State Senate, Lehigh, Berks, Carbon, Monroe, Northampton and Schuylkill Counties, 1980- 2008; chair, Education Committee, Special Committee on Interscholastic Athletics; co-chair, Coal Caucus; member, Appropriations, Transportation Aging & Youth, Environmental Resources and Energy Committees; served until his death, October 18, 2008. Rhoades, 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%.
Cousin, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, former bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg (ii) current bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. (i)
Daughter, Ali Rhoades married Christopher Hobbs son of former Senator Fred Hobbs, 29th district 1967-1976.
Son Mike, current head coach, Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball team (iii) and former head coach at Rice University.
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." (iv)
Cited: Pennsylvania Manual, Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-20; Volume 114, December, 1999.
(ii) Pennsylvania General Assembly. 2005-01-04. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/SJ/2005/0/Sj20050104.pdf
(iii) as of September 2021