Music 21


Leonard Joseph Rhodes

September 12, 2018

Leonard Joseph Rhodes Jr. was born on March 16, 1951 in Birmingham, Alabama. He was the eldest child of Leonard Joseph Sr. and Rosemary Rhodes.
A graduate of Garfield High School in the Seattle Public School system, Leonard also attended the University of Washington and was a sought after teacher of music throughout the community.

“Doc Rhodes,” as he was affectionately called, was a self-taught, gifted musician whose passion for music started at the tender age of 6. His innate ability and uncanny talent allowed him to learn and perform while playing various instruments - aside from his beloved saxophone and other reed instruments - such as the flute, bass, drums, guitar and keyboards. He was a musical genius in his own right. He truly lived his life doing what he loved.

His musical prowess afforded him the opportunities to travel to many places across the country and globe including Europe, Japan and Canada. Some of the world-renowned artists he played with included Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Dave Brubeck, Gladys Knight, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Isaac Hayes and a multitude of others playing in a number of musical genres. As Doc was a master musician, he was known to have played a key role in the development of rising artists in Seattle.

Leonard took his illness in stride and gave his all to fight it, never giving in or feeling sorry for himself. His sense of humor would keep you laughing. Even during his ailment, his life was consumed with his love of music. While in the hospital he made sure his flute was close by so he could close the door and play the instrument. While his family could see that he was ill, he never gave in to its affliction. During his last month, he was obsessed with getting his music together for recording.

Leonard was preceded in death by his grandparents General and Mary Taylor and George and Cleo Boyd.

He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved mother, Rosemary Scruggs, his daughter, Rochekah Joy(Aaron), granddaughter Londyn Hale, sister Donna J. Swann, brothers Allen F. Rhodes(Lisa) and  Christopher D. Daisy(Paulette), nieces Ishka Swann and Sydney Daisy, nephews Aaron and Joseph Rhodes, Ezra Swann, Jordan Daisy, a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and musicians.


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