Rhett Stidham, long-time knife collector and purveyor who probably will be best remembered for founding the Randall Knife Society, succumbed to a long illness Saturday, April 23.
Along with wife Janie owner of Meadows Edge retail knife store in Meadows of Dan, Virginia, Rhett was a familiar site at knife shows, selling and trading Randall knives and just about any knife, for that matter, that caught his fancy. A big man with a big smile and laugh to match, Rhett, along with Janie, was constantly on the road attending knife shows all over the country until failing health curtailed his busy travel schedule.
In the early years of his knife experience, Rhett specialized in selling and trading antique pocketknives, and later included custom knives and even knives by William Scagel among those he sold and traded before starting the Randall Knife Society. He also wrote and published the society’s newsletter and coordinated the RKS meetings at the BLADE Show. Early on, he wrote a book about the old (1900-1919 and 1931-1939) Napanoch Knife Co. of Napanoch, New York. As these words were written, this year’s RKS meeting was to be held as planned at the BLADE Show.
Funeral arrangements were pending.