In Memoriam: Richard J. Rhoads

Richard Joseph Rhoads
March 6, 1947 – August 7, 2022

Wilmington, North Carolina—Richard Joseph Rhoads, 75, of Wilmington, died Sunday, August 7, 2022, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare.

Richard was born March 6, 1947 in Paris, Illinois, and was the son of the late Harry Frederick Rhoads and Madeline Ruth Fox Rhoads. He was assistant director of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and assistant director of the Wilmington Boys Choir. Richard held a bachelor’s degree in music and a performer’s certificate from Indiana University, and a master’s degree in music from Rice University. He was a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians. A virtuoso on the organ, prior to his appointment to St. Paul’s, he served St. Andrew’s-on-the-Sound in Wilmington and Episcopal churches in Pennsylvania and Texas.

Richard’s exuberance shone in all that he did: the annual organ recital at St. Paul’s performed to a delighted audience, his feet effortlessly dancing across the pedals on “Allegro from Symphony 6” (Charles-Marie Widor); cranking up the volume on the organ to play “Stars and Stripes Forever” at the end of the Fourth of July worship service, waving happily to the enthusiastic applause that followed; playing the ancient organ high in the loft at Chichester Cathedral in the U.K. during the choir’s residency.

On Easter, he donned a robin’s egg blue sports jacket and wore it with flair, posting selfies on Facebook. Any day of the week, he wore an assortment of his trademark wildly colorful socks and shoes.

There were quieter pursuits as well: tapping out “Christmastime is Here” on a keyboard for the Wilmington Boys Choir during a holiday performance at the Bellamy Mansion; sipping Prosecco with friends at Caprice Bistro; watching the sunset from the Oceanic bar; enjoying a “flawless” meal of Vienna sausages at his condo, dubbed “Club Rickie,” during Hurricane Florence.


He is survived by his sister, Nancy Roberts of Bloomington, Illinois; niece Betsy Power and husband John Power; two nephews, Chris Roberts and Kevin Roberts; and several great-nephews and nieces.

The funeral liturgy for Richard will be on Friday, August 19 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the Committal to follow in the Bellamy Memorial Garden. The celebration of Richard’s life will continue with a reception in the Parish Hall after the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Richard’s legacy by making a memorial contribution to Music at St. Paul’s. To make a contribution, please click here or send by mail to:

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
16 N. 16th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

To enjoy Richard’s September 19, 2020 recital, which concluded with the “Allegro from Symphony 6,” go here.

St. Paul’s Life Slideshow

Click photo to view slideshow

Latest pictures include:

  • Ice cream social
  • Yes Day’ Pizza and a Movie Night
  • Wilmington Boys Choir Summer Camp
  • Gentlemen of Noble Poverty hard at work
  • Youth at Glory Ridge
  • Children’s Fine Arts Camp
  • Parish picnic at Long Leaf Park
  • St. Paul’s young people shopped for and replenished our Blessing Box at the corner of 16th and Princess
  • Habitat build completion and housewarming

Clergy Corner

Members’ Corner

Cheryl Wagoner

Cheryl Wagoner

Hi. I am Cheryl Wagoner.  I was introduced to St. Paul's in 2002 when I was dating Mark Wagoner....

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In Our Parish
Earl Craig
Fr. John Cawthorne
Judy Farri
Joe Farri
Alice Calder
Rus Kirk
Merry Ann Wright
Larry Wright
Lindsay Joines
Richard Rhoads
David Heath
Tom Freeling

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Lyle Sullivan
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August 7, 2022

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Exodus 34:29-35

2 Peter 1:13-21

Luke 9:28-36

Psalm 99 or 99:5-9

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Financial Report

St. Paul’s Operating Fund for 2022*
St. Paul’s Financial Plan provides resources to carry out the church’s ministries, including: Christian Formation, Community Ministries, Pastoral Care Ministry, Parish Life, Facility Support and Worship & Music.

2022 BUDGET ACTUAL % of Budget
APPROVED 7/31/2022
TOTAL INCOME $695,009   $366,325 53%
TOTAL EXPENSE  ($695,009)  ($357,477) 51%
INCOME less EXPENSE                   $0       $8,848

*For further detail, go here.

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