Have you ever met Santa Clause? I mean the real Santa with a real beard, a jolly laugh, and one who actually loved the kids who were climbing onto his lap? Well, we have!
Have you ever seen a huge, grown-man who was bitter and sad watch his teen-aged daughter join the Church only to embrace it with his whole heart a few weeks later? It was something to witness!
Have you ever met a tough, Harley riding man (a retired guy who could spend hours on the road enjoying life alone) who would trade in his bike for a mini-van so he could pick up the widows and those without a ride and drive them all to church each Sunday? Yes and we saw him wait until they all came out of their classes after church and take them all home too...EVERY week!
Have you ever met a crusty, hard-hearted guy who life had not treated so well turn into a softy who enjoyed going to girls camp to keep the cougars (and mice!) away from the girls...to be the priesthood presence there for a night? Our girls did!
Have you seen a new Church member get so excited over the scriptures that he just had to come and tell his bishop all about it and all of the great discoveries he had made while reading them? Dee has had this man in his office with tears in his eyes while he expressed thanks for modern-day revelation.
We received a phone call just after 11:00 pm on Saturday night to let us know that Brother Dusty (Duane) Rhodes had passed away at his home with his loved ones around him. He had asked his daughters to please be sure to call and let "his bishop", Bishop Loose know that he had gone on to his next estate. It hit Dee hard and brought great emotion to the surface. We knew he had been ill for a very long time but we always hate to say goodbye to those we love.
Brother Dusty became a new man with the gospel of Jesus Christ in his life. The light beamed from him as he bore testimony of a living God. He would do anything he was asked to do and then do more. He was a giant of a man in everyway. He always called Dee "My Bishop" even after he was released. He attracted the children of the ward like bees to honey...and he really was that sweet! We will miss him.
Dusty Rhodes at Girl's Camp 1999. ~Washington state.