Keith Alden Rhodes

1929 - 2010

Although Keith Rhodes completed an undergraduate degree in music and was trained as a violinist and violist, as a businessman he continued in music primarily as a singer. He also played ukulele for several years while residing in Hawaii.

Rhodes grew up in a family where music was a way of life. He was one of six children - Dwight, Joyce, Keith, Carol Rhodes Brummett, Dale, and Beverly Rhodes MacDonald - all of whom have been active in music, except Joyce, who died at age two. He started violin lessons at age six, and although this was his primaryinstrument, he also played organ and some piano.

His mother, though not a trained musician, joined with him and his brother Dwight to form an a capella vocal trio. After hearing a song, she would teach it to her sons, who would then sing with her, harmonizing it by ear. During this time, the family would give musical programs, singing as a group and presenting the children doing various solos with Keith on violin; Dwight, Carol, and Beverly on piano; and Dale on clarinet.

The family lived in Holly, Michigan, near Adelphian Academy, where all of the children were involved in some way with the school's music program and its teachers. Keith studied violin with a Mrs. Christensen. Following graduation from AA, he attended Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, where he completed a B.A in 1952 in history and music, with violin and viola as his performance areas. He studied violin at EMC with Keylor Noland and played in the college's orchestra and string quartet.

He was drafted into the army in the fall of 1952 and served for two years, stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Denver, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 1954, following his service in the army, he entered the business school at Stanford University, where he completed an MBA in 1956.

Rhodes then worked in a CPA firm in San Francisco, fulfilling requirements for a CPA license. He moved to Hawaii in 1963, hired by a company to do its corporate planning. For the next decade and a half the Islands served as home base for consultant work that eventually took him around the world. He worked on corporate restructuring for troubled companies assigned by banks on the West Coast and Northeast U.S. mainland, working out of San Francisco, New York, Minneapolis, and Honolulu.

While living in Hawaii, he played ukulele and sang in Kaneleio, a Hawaiian group with seven players that played at a number of social events. He also played in a group called The Gentlemen, a three-member ensemble that included a guitar, ukulele, and double bass.

In 1980, at the recommendation of one of his clients, he established his own business on the mainland, working as a freelance consultant and later also in direct sales. He avoided expanding his own operation, working primarily with medium and smaller sized businesses, both marketing and performing his service at a level he could handle. By the time he retired in June 2008, he had traveled over five million miles as he visited international branches of client firms.

Throughout those years, he was a member of several male quartets. While in Hawaii, he had sung in male quartets that traveled around the islands in a church member's twin-engine plane.


Source: Interview with Keith Rhodes in 2008.