February 22, 1952 – November 17, 2023
A favorite person to us all, John (Johnny, Hobbit, Effing Johnny, Roden, Grampy, Jason, Louie) Louis Roden went home to be with the Lord. His legacy forever lives in us through his larger than life personality. John was born to Bernadine & John Rudolph Roden on February 22, 1952. He was proud to be raised on the family farm in Albertville where he developed an unparalleled work ethic & strong Catholic beliefs. Although not the oldest, he was the leader to his three siblings: Jim, Judy, & Tom. John was initially so quiet as a child, that his family was worried that he was deaf & mute & feverishly prayed for him. His mother said that must’ve worked too well as once he started talking, we all know he didn’t stop. If you ever needed to find Roden, you only needed to pause to listen to where the passionate conversation was taking place.
John met the love of his life, Carol “Jean” Roden (Eull), in 1968 at St. Michael-Albertville Highschool. He lovingly referred to her as “my bride” for all 45 years of their marriage. If you asked John the wisest decision he ever made, he would say “marrying Carol.” John & Carol built a life together based on their shared love of nature, family, friends & their dear daughter, Kate “Bater.” Kate married Pete Halama, whom John called “son,” & thanked time & time again for marrying & taking care of his daughter. Kate & Pete brought great joy to John & Carol’s lives with the births of their sons, Rudolph “Rudy” & Louis “Louie,” who coined them “Grampy” & “Grammy.” Grampy did A-Z puzzles with repetition, thus teaching his grandsons the letters of the alphabet, in addition to educating them about wildlife, & brushing their hair to “look sharp.” Their favorite pastime was Grampy taking his Rudolph James & Louie Dewey on Ranger rides together. Grampy laughed the most & smiled the biggest when he was with these two “gentlemen.”
John was a man of honor. He adamantly pursued the United States Navy & was initially turned down because the roster was full. However, he learned that they would take him if he enlisted as a Navy corpsman (medic) because that role was “getting picked off like flies by the enemy.” As a result of his adamant drive to enlist, he was accepted into the Navy in 1970, immediately following his high school graduation. He said that even knowing what he knows now about getting mesothelioma, he would still do it all over again in a heartbeat, because he was proud to serve such a great nation as ours.
John’s organizational skills & detail-oriented attributes shone in his years leading the U.S. Postal Service as Postmaster. His uncanny recall of specific details, including dates, locations, & specific times, rivals Google. You could ask him anything about the Civil War, or really anything, & he’d enthusiastically provide an answer… with elaborate stories.
John loved the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness & the great outdoors. His goal of purchasing a place to bring family & friends together in “Mother Nature’s Best” came alive in 2001 with the purchase of “Rodens’ Last Resort” (RLR). Laughter was a given, work was a must, storytelling was constant. John delighted in gathering everyone he could at his place where people left as friends. John would tell you that RLR is his legacy. Furthermore, all of us coming together because of him, even naming children after him, is his legacy.
John fought literally until his last breath. Even with the taxing restraints on his body, from both pancreatic cancer & mesothelioma, he remained positive & hopeful. He loved life & fought for the life he lived. He was determined to meet his goal to celebrate his & Carol’s 45th wedding anniversary on October 28. Even as things got hard (& they got hard!), John’s faith did not waver, rather his dialogue with God increased. God has a bigger plan & needs the passion & energy that only John could give.
John is lovingly remembered by his wife Carol Roden (Eull), daughter Kate Halama (Roden), son-in-law Pete Halama, grandsons Rudy & Louis Halama, among many others.
Memorial service will be Saturday, November 25. Visitation is 8:30AM – 12PM at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Monticello. Mass at 12PM. Luncheon at St. Albert’s Parish Center at 1:30PM, prior to the service at Albertville Cemetery. Funeral by Peterson Chapel.
Please wear red or white to John’s services to commemorate the patriotic, heroic, conservative man we are so proud to know. Additionally, please bring invaluable printed information: Your name, John’s nickname for you, date you met, how you met, shared stories, & photos of you with our one-in-a-lifetime Johnny Roden.
In lieu of flowers, please donate instead to PanCAN (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network) Team KOJA to continue John’s fight. See John’s CaringBridge for more specifics. Let’s see how much we can raise together to honor John!