Obituary for James Roderick
James Melvin Roderick, age 96, passed away Jan 15, 2018. Jim was born March 17, 1921 in Springfield IL to Daniel and Bertha Roderick. His family moved to a farm northwest of Wisconsin Dells in 1926. Jim attended Oak Grove Country School and graduated Kilbourn High School in 1939. In winter, traveling to school, his dad would dig a path just wide enough to get his bicycle handle bars through the snow drifts on their ¾ mile dirt road to access Old Hwy 12. After school he worked at the local grocery store and eventually purchased a 1931 Ford. He sustained his passion for old cars. Moving to Portage he married Ethelyn Morse and had 3 children, losing one to meningitis at 3 months in 1943. In 1945 he was called into WWII Army service at Okinawa. Upon return, he traveled for work delivering oil for Pure Oil Company, then with Wisconsin Power and Light. Jim met and married Frances Dean-Hall at Montgomery Wards and had another child. For 25 years he worked at the Portage Post Office then started his business Portage Pure Water. Jim married Rose Bortz-Knutson and resided in Pardeeville while driving for Northwoods nonprofit for disadvantaged groups. He was always active fixing and creating endless projects using ingenious handyman skills. He engaged and participated lively in democracy. His life attitudes in letting things go and upbeat character is continual inspiration. He thanks Jesus for the gift of eternal life. Jim is preceded in death by his son Glen Leigh, grandson Daniel, parents, siblings Peggy and Doug and his late wives Frances and Rose. He is survived by his first wife Ethelyn, 3 of his children Wallace, Sherrie (Michael) and Connie (Duane), grandchildren Wallace II, Tom, Sara, Rachel and Katie, nephew David, step children Sheri, Linda (Chelsea grandchild), and his cat Skeeter. Celebratory will follow in spring. Condolences may be sent: IN CARE OF: C. Roderick PO Box 45541 Madison WI 53744 or shared online www.compassioncremation.com.