"There are no
ordinary people..."
C. S. Lewis

Seth Ryan Rhodes

Date of Birth: 
May 24, 1973
Date of Death: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Birthplace: 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Service Information: 
A celebration of life is planned for early July, 2018, at the family home

Seth R. Rhodes, age 44, died suddenly of an undiagnosed aortic aneurism on the evening of November 15, 2017, at his home on South Lake Samish in Bellingham.

Although born in New Mexico, Seth spent 43 of his years in Bellingham. An Eagle Scout, he loved the woods, hiking and camping in the mountains, kayaking or falling off his paddleboard in the lake, and, especially, fishing. He played football for Sehome High School, University of Puget Sound and Western Washington University. He loved watching all sports and had a considered opinion on every team’s yearly prospects. He also had a passion for gardening, cooking, and brewing. No one was more adept at cooking or smoking meat over an open fire. Barbecues at his place on the lake were legendary.

Seth is survived by his life partner, Dawn McKenney, his parents, Rick and Sheila Rhodes of Bellingham, and his younger brothers: Alan Rhodes and wife, Keri Straka, of Massachusetts, and their three children, Jasper, Orion and Dosalena, and his brother, Owen Rhodes and wife Breane Martinez, of Kingston, Washington, and their two sons, Benett and Jax.

Seth treasured his friends. The year following college graduation he and his best friend spent exploring the world and snowboarding mountains from Washington to California. Then he chose a profession that allowed him to work with his hands. He loved working outdoors and breathing new life into older homes. Professionally, he was an artist. He has left a legacy of beautifully landscaped grounds, elegant, functional remodeled homes, and lovely furniture fashioned from repurposed wood and granite from past building projects.

On a personal level he has left those who knew and loved him a rich collection of stories and memories that will keep him alive in our hearts. He was a gentle giant who had a zest for life, an appreciation for the little things that often go unnoticed, an irreverent sense of humor, and a great tolerance for his fellow man. He had a special relationship with his dog, Bear, another gentle giant, who died a few hours after Seth.

A celebration of life is planned for early July, 2018, at the family home. In lieu of memorials, enjoy time with the people you love. Take a moment to savor a sunrise or frost glittering on grass and shrubs. Smell the rich fragrance of the Northwest woods. Those were his favorite things.

Guestbook Entries

Submitted by Nancy Downing on

Dear Sheila and Rick,

I saw the notice in the newspaper today. My heart breaks for you. Losing your first born so abruptly must have been devastating. I will call you soon.

Love, Nancy

Submitted by Pam Goto on

Dear Sheila and Rick,

   Words cannot express the sorrow I feel.  Seth was so lucky to enjoy life and his profession and his family.  We are thinking of you.

Pam Goto 

Submitted by Dawn on

Thank you for the beautiful loving words honoring his life. So perfect and fitting to his spirit.
Love to you Dawn

Submitted by Joseph Mueller on

Seth and I worked on the Bellingham YMCA climbing wall project.  He was unbelievably strong and could hold a 90 lb jackhammer sideways in one hand... sort of cradled like a baby, 8 hrs a day with a smile on his face.  Our 3 man crew (also Craig Bruntil) chipped away at the bedrock to make way for grade beams which support the tallest climbing wall in Washington State.  I didn't really know Seth outside of work, and that was a long time ago... but to work that hard together creates a special bond.   He was an amazing, smart, creative, wonderful guy.  I'm honored to have crossed paths with him.  Please accept my heartfelt sympathies on the loss of Seth.

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