Steve Rhodes passed away. Painter, golfer, poet, pool player, inventor, chess player and dear friend to so many, Steve was perhaps best known as the ‘framer guy’, as fellow artist and mentor, Jerry Kirwin used to call him. He was known and loved in his Orthodox Bahá'í community into which he was born and which was the central core of his being. He adored his children and marveled at his grandchildren. He was known all over town for being Carole Schlatter’s little brother and she for being Steve Rhodes’ big sister. And he was the love of his wife’s life who never expected to find him and treasured him for the gift and partner he was to her in every way.
Steve was born in Peoria, Illinois October 25, 1943 to Marion and Dusty Rhodes who later migrated to Roswell and were also known and loved here. Steve’s father, a graphic artist, arranged for Steve as a teenager to apprentice with Jack Kraft, one of the finest portrait artists of the time and it was through this association that Steve started his career as first a charcoal portrait artist and later as a portrait and landscape oil painter. He was introduced to golf by his father at a young age and it became a passion in his life. Steve invented many golf training products, held four patents, and was an exceptional and generous teacher to anyone who asked. In 1964 he joined the Air Force and served as an Aerospace Technician at Bein Hoa Air Base in Vietnam making lifelong friends that stayed in touch to the end. Steve settled in Roswell in 1969, a community he grew to absolutely love.
In 2003 he and his wife, Terry, opened The Frame Shop which they operated until he retired in 2017. The shop was a magnet for not only custom picture framing but occasional chess games, electric light parade float operations, golf training with foam balls hit off Steve’s swing training mat, as well as brown bag lunches, philosophy gab fests, and more. People trusted Steve with their precious art and brought jobs to him they knew no one else could do.
Steve thought the world of his children and was so proud of them both. His daughter Summer Ferreira and her husband Kurt of Albuquerque have two daughters Adelaide and Matilda, and Steve’s son Sky and his wife Megan are the parents of grandson Brayden of Greeley, Colorado. He was especially close to his nephew David Schlatter of Aurora, Colorado as well as his niece Frances DeSiena of Salem, Oregon.
Steve and Terry met in 1999 and married two years later on the courthouse lawn and spent 21 years laughing, creating and collaborating on all manner of things. Everywhere they went in town someone would say “Hi Steve”. He never forgot a joke and told them well. He was a renaissance man, an artist and a servant of his faith and to his fellow human beings. He revered education and was an avid reader and student. He loved life and living and as his family and many friends can attest, he always saw the good in others and was one of the kindest people who ever lived.
Steve passed away at his home on September 19th of pancreatic cancer and was buried at South Park Cemetery on September 21st in a lovely Bahá'í graveside service surrounded by so many friends and family members. An original drum composition was performed in Steve’s honor by Kevin Walsh after he and fellow Orthodox Bahá'ís, Barbara Walsh and Carole Schlatter, said prayers and read from the sacred writings they chose especially for the occasion.