Randolph-Macon College Mourns the Loss of Pennsylvania State Senator James Rhoades
ASHLAND, VA – James Rhoades, longtime Pennsylvania State Senator and father of Randolph-Macon
College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Rhoades, passed away Saturday morning from
injuries sustained in a highway collision Friday evening.
Mr. Rhoades’ wife Mary, who was a passenger in the car, suffered serious multiple
injuries and is recovering in the hospital. Details on funeral arrangements for
Mr. Rhoades will be posted on the Randolph-Macon College Athletics website as soon
as they become available.
According to police, the accident happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday as Mr. and Mrs.
Rhoades were traveling north on Route PA-209 and their car collided with a truck
traveling the other way.
The 66-year-old, seven-term Republican senator was the longtime chairman of the
Senate Education Committee. He helped craft every major education initiative in
recent history, including the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Act and the Head Start Supplemental
Rhoades, R-Schuylkill, had served in the state Senate since 1981 and was seeking
an eighth term. He also served as a member of the Appropriations, Transportation,
Law and Justice, and Environmental Resources and Energy committees.
His district includes Schuylkill County and parts of Berks, Monroe, Northampton,
Lehigh and Carbon counties.
Rhoades taught and coached at Pottsville and Mahanoy City High Schools, and was
the principal of Mahanoy Area Junior High School before being elected to the Senate’s
29th District seat in 1980.