Obit

James (Jim) Lester Rhew

– On July 9th 2021, James “Jim” Rhew joined  the Lord and is celebrating with family and friends in Heaven. Jim Rhew was known for his larger than life personality, his love for America, his love for his wife and family, his hospitality, being a successful businessman, and devoted to the care of burned and crippled children. Jim was a bombardier and turret gun operator in the US Navy as he fought during the Korean war.After the war, Jim was a route salesman for Pepsi Cola where he became great friends with the late and great Rev Wendel Runion. After Pepsi Cola, Jim was a truck driver for Bowman Trucking and became president of the local Teamsters Union. From the 1960’s through the 1980’s Jim was a strong voice in local politics. He believed strongly in God, hard work, family, freedom, and the American dream. On February 1st 1973 Jim Rhew, and his wife Claudine, founded WNC Parking Lot Services. The two went on to form Georgetown Grocery, WastTech, Jim Dandy Ice Cream, the West Asheville Laundromat, and Kangaroos Convenience Store. Jim became a Mason and a Shriner in the early 1980’s and started throwing lavish parties of which hundreds attended. Jim and Claudine planned a year in advance for each party and enjoyed every minute of it.  Jim Rhew was a former President of the Land Of The Sky Shrine Club, former Captain of the Shriners Oasis Mnt Buggies, former President of the Erwin Hills Lions Club, and served on the NC Private Protective Service Board.

Jim’s passion was to help fund the Shriners Hospital for the Burned and Crippled Children. He chaired yearly fundraising events for the Shriners with the help of the Street Tiques, Hearts With Hands, and the Tri- County Coon Hunters Association. Jim Rhew was a 32 Degree Mason at Mount Hermon Lodge #118 and a York Rite Mason. Jim always was a crowd pleaser with his funny antics driving his dune buggie in Shriner parades. Jim was preceeded in death by his father Charles Lemar Rhew,  mother Mirene Rhew Huntly Connell, daughter Deane Nesbitt, brother Bill Rhew, sister-n-law Wilma Rhew, and his niece Belinda Rhew Martin.Jim leaves behind his beloved wife Claudine, grandson Chad Nesbitt ( Nancy) and the apple of his eye, his great granddaughter Savannah Nesbitt. Sisters Edna Smith and Gladys Dyer. Nieces Paula Fox (Daryl), Staci Dyer, and Kathy Short (Ken). Nephews Bill Rhew (Leslie) and Kenny Smith (Carolyn). Cousin and best friend Joe Rhew (Kay). Special thank you to Kim Ragan, Faye Craig, Carrie Green and Jim’s fury companion Freckles. Your love and care meant so much to Jim.The memorial service will be held at Anders Rice Funeral Home, Friday July 16th at 2PM. Visitation will immediately follow.Flowers appreciated. Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospital.