We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle
Rodney was born in Fort Peck, Montana, May 25, 1935. His family moved to the Seattle area and Rod grew up on the eastside. He attended and graduated from Issaquah High School. He served in the army as a medic, something of which he was enormously proud. He kept his uniform and his medic box all his life. He married and raised 3 sons, Rodney, Jr., Ron, and Rickey, along with multiple foster children.
He liked to say he did a little bit of everything: he was a hod carrier and brick layer, worked in construction, did long-haul trucking, and retired after a long successful career as a land surveyor for King County. He was a hard worker whether at work or in play. He was always working on his own vehicles or helping someone else with theirs or driving somewhere to pick something up or help a friend.
He was the classic self-made man: He came from humble beginnings and worked hard all his life and thus managed to do very well for himself which largely included scratching his travel itch. He made many long trips across the U.S. and even around the world. He purchased any vehicle he wanted to own, and he wanted them all! When asked if he had ever owned a specific kind of vehicle his usual response was a nod and “two of ‘em”.
Rod had a lot of good friends and had many adventures some on his motorcycle riding cross country and in all kinds of RVs. He made many of those trips with the love of his life, his second wife, Dolores Leder. They both loved to get in the car, often driving from Kirkland to eastern Washington just for lunch! They traveled through north America many times making and visiting their many friends and getting ingredients for all the projects they had together: wine, beer and alcohol making, putting up jars of every kind of vegetable, fruit and jams and roasting New Mexican peppers. They were truly “two peas in a pod” as everybody pointed out.
Rod was known for the twinkle in his eye, crushing bear hugs, his hearty laugh, his long stories of his great adventures, his devotion to Dolores until the very end, and for always taking the much longer “scenic route”.
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Near the end of his life, he lived in assisted living and the staff knew him as the “candy man” he liked to give them a piece of candy and a pat on the shoulder telling them “good girl” whenever they helped him with something. Even harder than losing Dolores in 2017 was trying to make it through the long and suffocating isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. He persevered with inspiring strength and resilience but finally gave up and decided to join Mom in heaven on what would have been her 92nd birthday on February 21st, 2021. Rodney is survived by his 3 sons, many grandchildren, his loving stepdaughters and step-grandchildren. They loved him dearly and he loved them back. He is already greatly missed. We promise, just as he did, to take the scenic route through life. Safe travels, Pops.