On Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, Darryl William Rhodes, 72, of Wichita passed away surrounded by family. Darryl was born on Nov. 15, 1950, to William M. and Darlene (Davis) Rhodes in Denver, Colorado. Darryl grew up near Deer Trail, Colorado, on a family farm. The farm was a cash grain and livestock operation. Darryl spent many cold winters on a tractor with no cab and realized that it was a life he didn’t want to pursue as a working adult. Instead, Darryl wanted to help farmers improve their economic well-being.
Darryl studied agriculture at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado and graduated in 1970. While there, he played on the varsity basketball team and was elected to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In 2008, Darryl was honored with the Alumni Association’s Pathfinder Award. Darryl was also honored by banking colleagues with a scholarship established in his name. The Darryl W. Rhodes Scholarship benefits future NJC students enrolled in programs within Northeastern’s agriculture department.
In 1972, Darryl graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science in agri-business. That same year, he began his career with the U.S. Ag Bank in Wichita as a loan officer trainee. He consistently advanced in responsibility and in influence through many mergers and reorganizations until his retirement as chief executive officer of U.S. AgBank, FCB in January of 2012. Darryl’s service included local, regional and national responsibilities. Throughout his 40-year career, Darryl’s talent and work ethic provided a positive example for all.
On Oct. 3, 1980, Darryl married Susan Ast. They lived together in Wichita and in 1982 had a son, Jared. Along with his stepdaughter, Amy, the four of them enjoyed many good times together on Caddy Court, where they raised their children. They traveled together, shared many experiences, and created many lasting memories. Darryl included his family in everything he did.
Shortly before his retirement from the bank, Darryl fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning his own cattle ranch. In 2010, he bought his first commercial red angus cows, and with that, Rhodes Red Angus Ranch was created. The ranch is in the beautiful western Flint Hills of Kansas near Florence, Kansas. It is dedicated to raising registered red angus and commercial cattle. The ranch brought Darryl much enjoyment. He particularly loved it when his children and grandchildren spent time there.
Darryl loved his family, his ranch, the Denver Broncos and his recliner. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren fiercely. He was proud of his family and the life he created. He believed in giving people a chance and in giving back anytime he could. He was dependable and fair. He had a laugh that was contagious, and he would never pass on the opportunity for a good dad joke. He enjoyed landscaping and keeping his yard looking tip-top. He respected veterans and supported them any chance he could. He will be truly missed by many, as his reach here on Earth was far. He was a good friend who deeply cared about people, agriculture and his family.
Darryl is survived by his loving wife, Susie (Ast); two children, Jared Rhodes (Michele) of Sandy, Utah, and Amy Walenta (Jeff) of Wichita; three grandchildren, Natalie (15), Julia (13) and Archer (7 months); brother, Brad Rhodes (Patricia); and many extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
No formal services will be held at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to one of Darryl’s favorite organizations, The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island, NY, 10306. Services in care of Downing & Lahey West Mortuary. Share tributes online at www.dlwichita.com.