Rodney Dyanza Demps Obituary in Fort Pierce at Stone Bros. Funeral Home and Chapel | FL
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Stone Bros. Funeral Home and Chapel | FL

Rodney Dyanza Demps

11/09/1953 - 06/17/2020

Obituary For Rodney Dyanza Demps

Rodney Dyanza Demps was born to Thomas Demps, Sr. and Mary Rahming Demps on November 9, 1953 in Fort Pierce, FL. He attended public schools where his interest in art began in the fifth grade and gained greater influence upon his attendance at Lincoln Park Academy. It was there that his eight grade art teacher, Mrs. Zenobia Jefferson encouraged Rodney to become an art mentee under the guidance of A.E. “Bean” Backus, known as the “Dean of Florida Landscape Painting”. This connection allowed Rodney to become a protege of the late Alfred Hair, co-founder of the Florida Highwaymen artist movement. As the Jim-Crow era came to a close, Rodney transferred to and later graduated from the Fort Pierce Central High School in 1971. An alumnus of the Florida A&M University, he received a Bachelors of Science in Health, Physical Education and Fitness in 1977. Immediately following graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps as an officer living in Quantico, Virginia for over two years. Later in 1980, he received a Masters of Education with a concentration in Health Education from FAMU.

After many years of courtship, Rodney married his teenage sweetheart, Shearon Hill in the fall of 1978. To this union, four children were born: Rochelle D. Demps, Cornelius C. Demps, Jack T. Demps, and Kirsten F. Demps. His son, Jack T. Demps preceded him in death. A member of Saint Simon the Cyrenian Episcopal Church, Rodney served as an acolyte, lay eucharist minister, member of the Men’s Guild, and often shared his artistic talents in honor of the church’s namesake throughout his life. Rodney served as a treasured educator for the Saint Lucie County School System for twenty-four years where he taught a variety of subjects such as athletic coaching, physical education and drivers’ education to the youths grades 7th through 12th. “The Man of Many Quotes” as affectionately monikered by his former students, Rodney recited age-old expressions reminding his students to finish strong and remain uplifted. An aficionado of football, Rodney not only enjoyed the sport leisurely but also coached for teams such the Pahokee Blue Devils.

Upon his retirement in the year 2001, his appetite for the arts was rekindled as the Florida Highwaymen began gaining national recognition for their artistic achievements and contributions. In 2004, Rodney was named one of twenty-six “Original” Florida Highwaymen artists with the induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Rodney rarely sold his artwork on the road like so many of the other Highwaymen did. Instead, he sold his work from the comfort of his home. Occasionally, he would travel to art shows, antique stores, and flea markets to make sales and share experiences. Known as the “Surrealist Highwayman”, his imaginatively beautiful landscape paintings give glimpses into his abundantly creative world. Throughout the years of his retirement, Rodney created various drawings, murals, and paintings thus adding to the perpetuity of his artistic collection.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Rodney was called home to be with the Lord. He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Demps, Sr.; his mother, Mary Rahming Demps; grandmother Julia Smith-Parris; and uncle, George Rahming, Sr.

He leaves to mourn his wife, Shearon Hill Demps; two daughters, Rochelle Demps and Kirsten Demps; one son, Cornelius (Deidra) C. Demps of Wesley Chapel, FL; two brothers, Thomas (Gloria) Demps, Jr of Miami, FL and Anthony (Stephanie) Demps of Jacksonville, FL; one sister, Angela (Eric) Polite of Daytona Beach, FL; an aunt; Martha (George, Sr.) Rahming of Eufaula, Alabama; and one granddaughter, Alexandra Naomi Demps. Also, he leaves to mourn a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A graveside Celebration of his Life will convene on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Pine Grove Cemetery beginning at 10:00am.

Although many venues have opened and the restrictions of COVID 19 have been relaxed, we here at Stone Brothers Funeral Homes are still enforcing the guidelines set forth by the CDC and FDOH to protect our families and our staff. We ask that you respect this, as it could very well save your life. We also ask that you acknowledge and execute the 6 ft. social distancing guidelines, as well.

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For Customer Service please call: 1-888-610-8262

 

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