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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 25, 2021

5/25/2021 5:29:00 AM
M. Dean Roddy

Merlyn Dean Roddy, 88 of the Town of Pelican, passed away on Friday morning, May 21, 2021 at his home with his family at his side.

Dean was born in Martinsville, Missouri on Oct. 7, 1932, to Russell M. and Mary C. (Strang) Smith. He lived in Martinsville until the age of six when the family moved to Nahma, Mich. Dean was a 1950 graduate of Nahma High School. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force, proudly serving his country during the Korean War. For a time, Dean lived in Maine, Gladstone, Mich., Chicago, Ill. where he began his career with the Soo Line Railroad as a conductor. He would continue his career in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and in the 1970s moved to Rhinelander. Dean would end his 36-year employment with the Soo Line Railroad in 1993 as a brakeman/switchman. He then worked at Walmart as a greeter from 2007 until 2015. On Oct. 7, 1973 he had a chance encounter with Patricia Wright and eight months later the couple married on June 12, 1974.

Dean loved his Lord and he and Pat were always providing their children with a good family life. In 1993 Dean and Pat adopted and began raising their final two children, Tiana and Christopher.

He enjoyed the Packers, golfing, bowling, camping, shooting pool and motorcycle riding where he was known for his doublewide sidecar. He was a member of the Goldwing Road Riders Association and was a "self proclaimed' world champion arm wrestler.

He will be dearly missed by his loving wife, Pat; children: Sheila (Dean) Kuckkahn of Oregon, Jim (Barb) Roddy of Texas, Juanita (Craig) Rutledge of Nevada, Sherry (Jeff) Carpenter, of California, Tim Roddy of Florida, Dean (Susan) Roddy of Wisconsin, Tammy Ives and ex Mike Ives of Wisconsin, Brenda (Tom) Osterman, of Wisconsin, Lisa Hagen of Minnesota, Tiana Roddy of Wisconsin and Christopher Roddy and fiancé Whitney Huebner of Wisconsin; 33 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers: Vernon (Lois) Roddy of Wisconsin, Wendell (Arlene) Roddy of Florida, sisters: MaryLynn Michels of Wisconsin, JoyAnn Downs of New Hampshire and his four-legged companions: Kitty, Lucy and Rikki. Dean is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Mary Roddy and Russell Smith, one son, Billy Roddy and a brother, Russell (Peggy) Smith.

The visitation for Dean will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 10 a.m. until the 12 p.m. funeral service, with Chaplain John Uhlarik officiating. Immediately following the funeral service, there will be a procession to Forest Home Cemetery for the Committal Service. At the conclusion of the Committal Service military honors will be performed by the Ray Rousseau V.F.W. Post 3143 and by two representatives from the United States Air Force.

Dean's family would like to thank Ascension at Home Health and the V.A. for all of the assistance provided to the family and a special thank you to Joy Ratliff for all the care and compassion shown to Dean.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to to the family in order for them to make a contribution to the train museum at Pioneer Park in Rhinelander in Dean's name.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Article comment by: Bruce Kotila

Pat, Tammy, Brenda, and the rest of Dean’s family,
I remember my many years of medical care for Dean very fondly. He was always so animated and proud of his family. He loved to show his physical strength as he got older. I still have his roller wheel which he could do repeatedly. He was the perfect greeter at Walmart, with a smile a yard wide, and a humorous quip for everyone. Dean will be missed by many.

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