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 Assistance Program.
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.