01/28/09 — Former City Council member J.B. Rhodes dies

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Former City Council member J.B. Rhodes dies

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on January 28, 2009 1:46 PM

J.B. Rhodes

Former Goldsboro City Council member J.B. Rhodes died Tuesday.

He was 82.

Rhodes served on the City Council from 1987 until 2003. He served as mayor pro-tem in 1991, 1999 and 2003.

He was the owner and operator of Rhodes Funeral Homes of Goldsboro and Warsaw for more than 50 years.

He died at Fryer Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

Rhodes was known for his outspoken manner and dedication to his constituents. He represented his constituents with wit and determination.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Current City Councilman the Rev. Charles Williams Sr. was a good friend of Rhodes.

Williams was elected to the council in 1995, when Rhodes was serving as well.

But the reverend said he knew Rhodes before then.

"I've been knowing him for more than 40 years," Williams said.

His friend was one who had "tremendous sensitivity to the plight of the underprivileged and the less fortunate," and he was also "very sensitive to the plight of the African-American race in particular."

During his time on the council, Rhodes was instrumental in passing ordinances for the betterment of Goldsboro as a whole, Williams said.

"He was very much involved with the decisions that were made concerning the compost facility and the upgrading of the wastewater treatment plant," the reverend said. "When I first came on, in 1995, they were paving streets and doing things."

Rhodes was a man with a great sense of humor, and he displayed that humor at every council meeting, Williams added.

He once told a speaker he had questioned at a council meeting that "I was born at night, but it wasn't last night."

His friend also touched the lives of many people through his funeral and mortician services.

The man loved to sing, too, Williams said.

"He always had a singing group. I don't know how well he could sing, but he always had the choir singing for him."

Rhodes had his own radio show, the reverend said, where he would talk about a lot of issues that people wanted to hear.

But overall, he will remember his friend for the good person that he was.

And he believes others will, too.

"He is going to be greatly missed in the community, in the church and outside of the church," Williams said. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family."