Robert Hathaway Rhodes

Published 3:50 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

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Robert Hathaway Rhodes

January 8, 1935 – February 7, 2024

Robert Hathaway Rhodes (Bobby), aged 89, a life-long resident of Washington, N.C., passed peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

After he was born in Henderson, North Carolina, on January 8, 1935, to John Franklin Rhodes and Myrtle Mae (Hathaway) Rhodes, Bobby’s family moved to Washington, N.C., where he graduated from Washington High School in 1953. As a high school student-athlete, Bobby excelled in both football and basketball. He was a member of championship teams in 1952 and 1953 and was known especially for his punting skills on the football field and his talent as the starting center on the basketball court for the Pam Pack. Following graduation in 1953, Bobby enlisted in the U. S. Army where he served for two years while stationed on Bikini Island. Upon his return to Beaufort County in 1956, Bobby began employment with the National Spinning Company where he worked for twenty years. In 1976, he transitioned into the real estate business where he brokered residential properties in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida over a period of twenty-five years.

On July 4,1964, he married Laura Sandra Stalls of Washington, and they were married for 59 years. Together, they raised three children: Laura Rhodes Hooven (Dwayne) of Augusta, Georgia; Robert Hathaway Rhodes, II (Angie) of Greenville, N.C.; and Jennifer Rhodes Burruss (David) of Washington, N.C.  He is also survived by his nine grandchildren: S. Taylor Hooven (Elizabeth), John R. Hooven (Taylor), L. Peyton Hooven, Kennedy E. Rhodes, Campbell H. Rhodes, Robert H. Rhodes III, Alexander W. Burruss, Susannah R. Burruss, and Paxton W. Baynor. He was a dear husband, wonderful father, and loving grandfather.

Bobby is survived by one sister, Ann Page (Rhodes) Meade of Palatka, Florida.

He enjoyed participating in the community and was a former member of the Washington Optimist Club, during which time he held various offices and leadership positions. One of his favorite things to do was to coach his own children in youth sports sponsored by the Optimist Club. Additionally, he was a member of Old Ford Church of Christ where he served in the role of deacon for several years.

Having grown up in Washington, Bobby spent much time around the Pamlico River, where enjoyed skiing, boating, and fishing as many lifelong residents of Washington do.  An avid golfer, he enjoyed playing on area golf courses. His love of the game was sealed when he attended the Masters Golf Tournament several years ago. In addition to golf, he loved grilling a good steak, reading both fiction and nonfiction books, bluebird watching, driving by the waterfront in his ECU golfcart, and spending time with his family, friends, and neighbors as well as his “patio pets”, the neighborhood Washington Park dogs.

Including his parents, immediate family members who preceded Bobby in death are his siblings Charles Rhodes, Jack Rhodes, Jean (Rhodes) Brannon, Joyce (Rhodes) Clark, and Margaret (Rhodes) LeMaster.

A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington, N.C.

The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2024, at Old Ford Church of Christ with pastors S. Dwayne Hooven and Reggie Braziel serving as officiants. Pallbearers are grandsons S. Taylor Hooven, John R. Hooven, Alexander W. Burruss, Robert H. Rhodes III, and Paxton W. Baynor. Additionally, nephews Charles T. Rhodes and Steven R. Wilson as well as son-in-law David A. Burruss, Jr., will serve as pallbearers.

He will be missed, but his family takes great comfort in the hope of knowing we will see him again one glorious day.

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Carolina Bluebird Society at 4600 Chandler Grove Court, Raleigh, N.C., 27612.

Condolences may be addressed to the family online by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Rhodes family.