JIM RHINEHART looked out over the hungry people enjoying a hot meal at the Church of the Advocate and pronounced it good.
"This is my spiritual fulfillment," he said one day in 2006. "It's the whole idea of working with people and being part of a movement for the betterment of people."
The historic Episcopal church had been feeding hungry people in need since 1981, and Jim Rhinehart had been part of it from the beginning.
His work with the church soup kitchen was only one of the ways in which Jim Rhinehart served his community. As a board member of Art Sanctuary, which promotes and exhibits art by African-Americans, Jim was a passionate leader.
"It is very likely that Art Sanctuary would not have come about without Jim," said longtime friend and board member Tina Smith-Brown.
James Calvin Rhinehart, an artist himself, a well-regarded interior designer, mentor to hundreds of young people in the cultural life of the city, Army veteran of World War II and world traveler, died Jan. 13 at the age of 90.
"Jim was more than just a board member," said Valerie Gay, executive director of Art Sanctuary. "He was a friend who shared our passion for art. There are no words to describe how grateful we are for the contributions he made to our organization and community.
"He has truly been a staple in our movement to bring cultural awareness to others."
Smith-Brown added: "Because of his efforts, thousands of students experience opera at the Kimmel, artists display their talent in our new office gallery, and women and men journey into their past and rewrite their futures in writing workshops . . . ."
Jim started on the Art Sanctuary board of directors in 1998, and his fundraising activities kept the movement going and thriving.
His niece, Olivia Herbert, recalled how much her uncle enjoyed entertaining. "He loved to cook and entertain," she said. "People would come to the house, for whatever reason, and he would use the visit to cook something special. He was a true gourmet cook."
His generosity was a family legend. Olivia said when she went to college in North Carolina, her uncle and his longtime companion, the late Peter McCurdy, traveled to North Carolina, picked out her apartment and made sure everything was just so.
"He was very loving, very giving," she said. "He did things for people. He loved to take young people to art museums and cultural activities."
As an artist, Jim did family portraits and worked in oils. As an interior decorator, he was a consultant to Bloomingdale's and John Wanamaker for many years.
Jim was born in Waterbury, Conn., to Charles Rhinehart Sr. and the former Jewel Butler. He received his early education there and entered the Army in World War II. After his discharge, he moved to New York City and attended the Parsons School of Design. After graduation, he moved to Philadelphia.
He was baptized by the late the Rev. Paul Washington at the Church of the Advocate in 1969. In addition to the soup kitchen, he was active as director of acolytes, the Altar Guild, Vestry, Church Choir, the Men's Day Ministry and the Outreach Ministry.
Jim Rhinehart, called "Uncle Calvin" by family and friends, maintained his zest for living until the end of his life.
"He taught by example the importance of supporting one's community and creating a legacy for future generations," Gay said.