Raised in the farming community of Redmesa, Colorado, she called Tooele home for more than 50 years. She was known for her skill in teaching, leadership, singing, quilting, cooking, gardening, and serving others. She loved her heritage and hard-working ancestors who gave so much.
She loved learning and made it a lifelong habit. Until high school she attended a two-room school where she had to jump the ditch and use an outhouse. She was proud to be an alumna of Durango High School where she was head cheerleader, basketball homecoming queen, and named Dependability in her senior yearbook. Attending Brigham Young University, she sang in Women’s Chorus, met her husband Joe D, and graduated in elementary education. Later, while raising her children and working full-time, she got a master’s degree from Utah State University in educational leadership.
Rodie loved people, especially children. She knew how to make everyone feel special. She was known for singing “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck” to students, family, and friends to express her love. She was a celebrated kindergarten and 1st grade teacher, and was acknowledged with Teacher of the Year and other awards over the years. Over a thousand children learned important academic skills, as well as to love their country, each other, and themselves during her 34-year career. She also taught them the importance of grit by saying, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” She created and directed many musical experiences for school children, especially when a school music teacher was lacking. Every day she said hello and goodbye with a hug to each of her students to make sure they knew how loved they were. After retiring, she volunteered in local schools to continue teaching children how to read. In addition to her work in the schools and community she helped her husband build and run several local businesses including Oquirrh Motor Inn and Best Western Inn Tooele.
She loved her country and served her community in a variety of positions at the local and state level. She was a 4-H and Cub Scout leader, served on the Tooele County Board of Health, and was Chair of the Utah Department of Education Professional Practices Advisory Commission, among many others. Rodie loved God and served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a variety of ward and stake leadership positions. She served two missions with her husband where she brought the warmth of her love to cold Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia, and Toronto, Canada. She often shared her testimony of Jesus Christ through song as she performed in special musical numbers, frequently breaking into song during talks, and in daily life.
Rodie loved her family and was a unifying force in a large extended family with 13 siblings and almost 100 nieces and nephews spread across the country. Grandchildren have many fond memories of being together and learning with her at her annual summer cousins’ camps. She taught her own children to work hard and help others as they accompanied her throughout the community serving neighbors and friends. She made sure they worked in the home, the garden, and the family-owned businesses. Her life motto was, “Living is Giving.” Rodie lived well and she gave much.
She was met on the other side by her daughter Heidi, as well as beloved parents, sisters, brothers, in-laws, and friends. Those of us still trying to live together in love while mourning her are her husband Joe D.; son RD (Denise); daughters Staci (Michael), Traci (Cory); and son-in-law Mike; along with in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many others.
Services were held Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.