Neill Funeral Home


John Harvey Rhodes

October 27, 1940January 10, 2021

John Harvey Rhodes of Mechanicsburg, PA, 80, passed away on January 10, 2021 at the Penn State/Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He was in the thoughts and prayers of his loving family. An innovative and creative man, John improved the quality of life in Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania through his numerous business projects and charitable efforts. Born in Reynoldsville, PA on October 27, 1940, he was the son of the late Joseph O. Rhodes, Sr. and Olive V. (Mowrey) Rhodes. John graduated from the Patton Masonic School for Boys in Elizabethtown in 1958, where he learned carpentry. Thanks to the encouragement of a beloved teacher, Mahlon Clark, John attended the Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1962 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Finance. Following graduation, John was a commercial loan officer and mortgage banker for First Pennsylvania Bank. A true entrepreneur, John started his own real estate development firm in 1968, Rhodes Development Group, and additionally founded a real estate and property management company, Property Management Inc., both of which grew into industry leading organizations in the central Pennsylvania region. John's expertise and business acumen in the fields of economics, finance and real estate development, coupled with his visionary and creative talents, allowed him to finance and build some of the most complex and successful real estate development projects in central Pennsylvania over the last fifty years. Greatly respected for his knowledge and expertise, John served on many regional and national corporate boards. A member of the Board of Directors of Penn National Insurance for the last twenty-five years, he served as Chairman for ten of those years. John additionally sat on the Board of Directors of Partners Mutual Insurance Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin and served as Director and Chairman of the Delta Dental Companies of Pennsylvania and California. John additionally served for many years as a member of the Boards of Directors of Nitze-Stagen & Company, the Hershey Bank, and PNC Bank, N.A., as well as being a founding director of the Legacy Bank of Harrisburg. John generously applied his considerable gifts of critical thinking, analysis and strategic planning to numerous charitable and foundation boards of directors, with a particular focus on health and elder care. John was a former Director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of both the United Methodist Home for the Aging, Inc. and the Ecumenical Communities Nursing Home and Skilled Care organization. After helping to plan and build The Village at Penn State, a senior retirement community in State College, PA, John served on its board of directors for more than a decade. He also served on the board of Diakon Lutheran Charitable Services in central Pennsylvania and the Penn State/Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Inspired to provide accessible and high-quality medical care throughout the region, John's vision and expertise contributed to the creation of Penn State/Hershey Medical's community-based care clinics. Inspired by his experience at the Patton School and hoping to create opportunities for a new generation of caring community leaders, John actively supported Bridgewater College in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Surviving are his wife (and true partner) of over 50 years, Bonnie Forrer Rhodes; their sons, Gregory C. Rhodes and his wife, Monica, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and Christian F. Rhodes and his wife, Molly, of Holland, Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren, Isabelle, Julia, Will and Emily Rhodes. Also surviving are a brother, Joseph O. Rhodes, Jr. of Mendham, New Jersey, and a sister, Carol Dennison of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania. A memorial service in celebration of John's life will be scheduled at a later date, when it is safe for family, friends and business associates to gather. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions in John's memory be made to either the Washington National Cathedral's music program or Ecumenical Retirement Community. The National Cathedral's music program can be accessed online at or by mail at the following address: Washington National Cathedral In Memoriam – John Rhodes P.O. Box 98283 Washington, DC 20090-8283 Donations to Ecumenical Retirement Community may be sent to the following address: Ecumenical Retirement Community In Memoriam – John Rhodes 624 Wilhelm Road Harrisburg, PA 17111.


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John Harvey Rhodes

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