Dusty Rhodes

September 24, 1955-June 10, 2012

A bright light went out in the Vancouver and Vancouver Island Theatre Community when Dusty Rhodes died suddenly on June 10, 2012 in Nanaimo, BC. He was an independent soul that needed to live large.

Dusty was an enigma – a warm and gentle soul wrapped up in a short, gruff and tough exterior. Born and branded Robert Bruce Rhodes Jr., in Nanaimo on September 24, 1955 he was immediately nicknamed Dusty by his Grandma. (after a famous baseball player of the time)

At 3 he decided to move to Willow Point with his parents where he attended the local schools. He was always the cool one, loved by teachers, friends and family alike. He became a father to Jace Rhodes at 16, married Cindy Lawson at 18, got a job at Raven Lumber, bought a trailer, and seemed settled in to small town life. But as a character that was bigger than life, he wasn’t fulfilled. In 1981 his first marriage ended amicably.

He started working at the Gourmet By The Sea and there he met his soulmate, Joelle Rabu. They moved to Vancouver in 1981 and ended up in theatre pretty much by accident. Dusty learned to do lights and sound for Joelle’s show and found his niche. Characters are encouraged in the theatre community and Dusty was one of the biggest characters of all. He was the Technical Director at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre for 10 years and Technical Director of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival for 8 years. He worked in every venue in the Lower Mainland, most of the venues in BC, many of the venues in Canada and several venues internationally.

In 1993, having had enough of city life, Dusty returned to Vancouver Island with Joelle and their son, Nicolas. He made his home in Nanaimo and worked mostly at the Port and Chemainus Theatres. He loved Joelle, his kids, all kids, his Harley and his guitar, but unfortunately, like all souls that had to live larger than life, he had his demons. We all hope Dusty is now somewhere where he has “shuffled off this mortal coil” and is at peace.

He will be missed by many, many people. “THE LAST HURRAH” will be a memorial celebrating Dusty’s life, being held on July 30th, at the WISE Hall in Vancouver. Anyone wanting to attend is welcome, please RSVP on Facebook at “The Last Hurrah” event or e-mail jerhodes421@yahoo.ca.

Because Dusty is remembered by many as a mentor to those entering theatre, a bursary is being arranged through Langara College. Each year this will enable someone in need to complete the technical theatre program through Studio 58. If you wish to contribute to the fund, contact Judy at jerhodes421@yahoo.ca for further details.

RIP bro. Fade to black……..

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