Silver Sage Awardee (Class of 2008) Jack L. Rhea passed away Friday, May 7, 2010 in Bethlehem, PA. He was 94 years old. Jack and his wife, who died in 2009, made their home with their daughter Julie in Bethelehem for many years after Jack retired from the professional ranks as Assistant Chief Scout Executive.
Jack, a Philmont icon, served as Director of Camping (now know as “Program Director”) from 1954 to 1964. Many innovations that are still a part of Philmont evolved under his leadership. He is credited with having formed the Ranger program along with Clarence Dunn and “Doc” Loomis in 1957. The Philmont expedition as we know it to today began during his administration. Tent City and Ranger City were constructed during his tenure. And the list could go on.
Jack served in combat as an officer in the U.S. Army during WW II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry. He continued his service in the reserves after the war and retired at the rank of full Colonel.
In addition to Julie, the Rheas have three other children, Carol (MacArthur) and Bart of New Jersey and Ronald of Idaho. They spent their formative years at Philmont.