Cover photo for Thomas Cook Rodda's Obituary
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1942 Thomas 2019

Thomas Cook Rodda

June 15, 1942 — March 1, 2019

Thomas Cook Rodda

June 15, 1942 – March 1, 2019


Tom Rodda was born in Tecumseh, Michigan on June 15, 1942 to Rev. E. Thomas Rodda and Marion Kemp Rodda. His upbringing was somewhat nomadic as his father was an Episcopal priest and the family made many moves throughout his young life. Tom graduated from Natrona County High School in Casper, Wyoming in 1960, and went on to the University of Wyoming, completing his degree in Accounting in 1964. While a student, he participated in ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. He was stationed in Newburgh, NY, then in Aviano, Italy, a country for which he had great love. He had two children, Anne and Katie. He separated from the military in 1969 after rising to the rank of Captain. He settled in Pullman, Washington, and in 1974 he married the love of his life, Lynn Fisher, gaining two bonus daughters, Paula and Kabrena. He earned his MBA from Washington State University.


The family moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1978, then settled in Anchorage. He worked for the University of Alaska as a Budget Analyst, then for the Catholic Archdiocese of Alaska.


Tom’s true love was music: he was an accomplished pianist and a church organist at many churches, serving 20 years at Anchorage Lutheran Church. He was the accompanist for the Anchorage Community Choir, traveling with them to Russia, New Zealand, Australia, and other far-flung locations. An avid runner, he completed two marathons and ran several times in the Klondike Road Relay, an overnight, 200-mile foot race.


In 2005 he and Lynn retired to Hope, Idaho. He loved his life on the Hope Peninsula, enjoying visits from family and friends. He was an active member of St. Mary’s Church in Bonner’s Ferry. Tom volunteered at the Sandpoint Music Conservatory, a performing arts school. He felt a special connection with the children’s groups he accompanied.


He and Lynn were intrepid travelers, visiting many exotic locations around the world. Tom got great satisfaction in working for the International Virtual E-Hospital Foundation, which establishes sustainable telemedicine in countries with no medical care delivery systems. He was the treasurer for several organizations in Northern Idaho. He is probably working on St. Peter’s books right now.


Tom had a huge heart and was a friend to all, with a ready smile for everyone. He had a great sense of humor, matinee idol eyes, and a wicked sweet tooth. He took in strays of all kinds and was a mentor to many.


He is survived by Lynn; brother Mike of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; daughters Anne of Auckland, New Zealand (husband Gordon); Paula of Seattle, Washington (husband Richard); Katie of San Diego, California (husband Chris); and Kabrena of Richland, Washington (husband Dan); grandsons Dylan, Arthur, Lucas, Geoff, Teddy; and his furry children Maxine and Fritz.


A memorial service will be held later this year when travel is less dangerous. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint.

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