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Remembering Charlie Rhoden (December 3, 1944-August 9, 2021)

By Julian V. Brandt III and Chappy McKay

Charlie Rhoden. Image provided.

Joyfully driving his 1960 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce in his chauffer’s cap, Charlie was a man for all seasons and was sent by God to serve, to do his part to make the world a better place. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). That was Charlie.

He had a keen sense of history, himself and place. Born in Newberry, he was a true Carolinian. He was passionate about his family, church, community service, bicycles, cars, societies and social engagements. A passionate and competitive United States Cycling Federation bicyclist, he encouraged others to love the sport. Above all, Charlie was devoted to his family, Charlotte, Allison and Jonathan.

Charlie was a fixture at Grace Church, reading the lessons and leading prayers. Well, unless he was off to a Revolutionary War Battle or spending time at his beloved mountain home at Wolf Laurel. Charlie loved history and the Revolutionary War. He became a reenactor and assumed the role of a British officer and physician with precise detail. Ironically, he served as the model for the General Moultrie statue in White Point Garden.

He was also a pharmacologist, campanologist, vexillologist and genealogist. Let us offer brief thoughts on a few of his interests: As a pharmacologist, Charlie graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy to start a brilliant career as a drugstore owner. An accomplished pharmacist, Charlie served the North Carolina Drug Commission, for which he was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Jim Hunt for his exemplary service. After moving to Charleston in 1996 he served 20 years on the prestigious Institutional Review Board of MUSC and the VA hospitals.

As campanologists, otherwise known as bell ringers, Charlie and Charlotte were members of the American Bell Ringers Association. Charlie and Charlotte embraced an international group of friends, ringing bells from their home bell tower here at Grace Cathedral, across Charleston and throughout England. Charlie loved the bells!

As a vexillologist, Charlie loved his flags. You couldn’t help but ride by his King Street home and wonder what event, national holiday or day of remembrance Charlie was celebrating. You always knew Charlie and Charlotte were in town when his many colorful flags were flying.

As a genealogist, Charlie loved to research family histories. The problem with genealogy is sometimes you find a few skeletons in the closet. Charlie discovered his direct ancestor, Daniel Horry, was a prominent Lowcountry colonist, who started life as a pirate! Charlie took great pride in his scallywag past.

Charlie graciously accepted service and provided great leadership to many local and national organizations:

· By appointment of Queen Elizabeth II an officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem

· Charlestowne Neighborhood Association, President

· The Society of First Families of South Carolina 1670-1700, Lord Proprietor

· The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of South Carolina

· The South Carolina Society, Sons of the American Revolution

· The Society of the War of 1812, President

· La Société Française de Bienfaisance, President

· The Caledonian Club of Charleston

· The St. David’s Society, Vice President

· The Royal Society of St George, President

· The English-Speaking Union

· The Piping and Marching Society of Lower Chalmers Street

· Landmark Lodge

· The 64th Regiment of Foot

· The Society of St. Thomas and St. Denis

· The Cleveland County Board of Health, Chairman

· Children’s Homes of Cleveland County

· Rotary Club International

Simply, for us, Charlie leaves this world a better place. “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).


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