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Billie “Bill” Clarenton Rhodes

General Information

Other Known Names: B. C. “Bill” Rhodes

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: 1/1/1921
Place of Birth: Memphis, Hall Co., TX USA

Date of Death: 6/21/1965
Place of Death: Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ USA

Biographical Information

Sen. Billie Clarenton “Bill” Rhodes died June 21, 1965 and he was replaced by George W. Peck as Senator for Maricopa County (Journal of the Senate, 27th Legislature, 3rd Special Session, 1965, pp. 37-41, 65-67).  The following is from the Legislative death resolution:

A brilliant and promising career in civic and political fields was ended with the premature death of Senator B. C. (Bill) Rhodes on the evening of June 21, 1965 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix.

Senator B. C. (Bill) Rhodes was serving his first term in the Arizona State Senate representing Maricopa County.  Few first term Senators in the history of the State distinguished themselves as did Senator Rhodes.  His competence and ability were immediately demonstrated and acknowledged, and therefore his colleagues assigned work to him commensurate with his ability.

Senator Rhodes had definite principles, objectives and beliefs and he was persistent in his efforts to accomplish his objectives without regard to the political consequences.  His determination and sincerity were readily observed and for this he was respected by his friends and by all of his opponents on any particular issue.

The extent of Senator Rhodes activities in the State Senate is revealed by his membership on the Standing Committees of Appropriations, Counties and Municipalities, Enrolling and Engrossing, Finance and Revenue, Highways and Bridges, Livestock and Public Lands, and Rules.  Moreover, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Agriculture and Irrigation Committee and as Vice-Chairman of the Suffrage and Elections Committee.  He was also a member of the Arizona Legislative Council.  In addition to membership on the Standing Committees, Senator Rhodes served on several Special Committees.  He was Chairman of the Joint House and Senate Tax Action Committee and was also appointed to serve as a member on the Crippled Children's Hospital Investigating Committee and the Highway and Street Fact-Finding Committee.

B. C. (Bill) Rhodes was born in Memphis, Texas, on January 1, 1921.  Three years later his family moved to Arizona where Senator Rhodes received his elementary, high school and university education.  The Honorable B. C. (Bill) Rhodes served in the Maritime Service, the Merchant Marine and the United States Army.

After his service in the United States Army was completed, Senator Rhodes settled down to the occupation of farmer and rancher.

From Goodyear, Arizona, where Senator Rhodes lived with his wife and three children, the able Senator participated actively in civic and political affairs.  Bill Rhodes was a precinct committeeman since 1962 and served on the County and State Executive Committees.

Senator B. C. (Bill) Rhodes discharged his community obligations by his activity in civic work.  He was distinguished by serving as President of the Maricopa County Farm Bureau from 1954 to 1956, and also served as the Secretary-treasurer of the Arizona Cotton Growers in 1956.

In 1963, his colleagues in the Tri-city Chamber of Commerce, representing Avondale, Goodyear and Litchfield, honored him by electing him to serve as President. Senator Rhodes was also a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Number 708.

Senator Rhodes was a long-time and active member of the Kiwanis Club of Litchfield.  His work in this organization extended beyond his own club and community and as a result in 1962, he was elected to serve as Lt. Governor of District 8 of the Southwest District of Kiwanis International.

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Legislative Resolution

Link to Legislative Resolution

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Military Service

Maritime Service, Merchant Marine, U.S. Army:  The Honorable B. C. (Bill) Rhodes served in the Maritime Service, the Merchant Marine and the United States Army.  (Legislative death resolution) 

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Title Occupation Start Year End Year
farmer Agriculture/Farming/Ranching
rancher Agriculture/Farming/Ranching

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Arizona Legislative Service

Session Chamber Party District City County Office Additional Information
27th Legislature, 1st Regular (1965) Senate Democrat Maricopa - (1912-30) (1931-1966 Senate) Goodyear Maricopa
27th Legislature, 1st Special (1965) Senate Democrat Maricopa - (1912-30) (1931-1966 Senate) Goodyear Maricopa
27th Legislature, 2nd Special (1965) Senate Democrat Maricopa - (1912-30) (1931-1966 Senate) Goodyear Maricopa
27th Legislature, 3rd Special (1965) Senate Democrat Maricopa - (1912-30) (1931-1966 Senate) Goodyear Maricopa died 6/21/1965 and was replaced by George W. Peck

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Birth: Arizona Legislative Biography sheet "B.C. 'Bill' Rhodes" parents:   T.C. "Doc" and Lou Ella Rhodes, full name:  Ancestry: TX birth index Certificate Number: 3221 Roll Number: 1921_0013:  "Billie Clarenton Rhodes"; Death:  obituary:  "State Solon Bill Rhodes Dies at 44."  Yuma Daily Sun, June 22, 1965:  "PHOENIX (AP) State Sen. B. C. (Bill) Rhodes, D-Maricopa, died Monday night in the intensive care section of Good Samaritan Hospital.   Rhodes, 44, suffered a brain hemorrhage May 19 while attending a luncheon."; Occupation(s): Arizona Legislative Biography sheet and Legislative death resolution 

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Additional Notes

LEGISLATIVE FAMILY (Yellow Sheet Report (Arizona Capitol Times), May 25, 2011):  son of Rep. Trancy Clarenton Rhodes

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