Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Gone But Not Forgotten

Friends and classmates,

I am of course saddened to have to deliver this message. Our friend and classmate Joe Rodwell passed away at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014. But we can all – unsurprisingly – be proud of the long, always courageous battle to live he fought. I was still on active duty when I visited him in Minneapolis, and he was already battling. Typical of Joe, he could describe in medical detail his maladies – and then very precisely and just as courageously present his conquest plans. His zeal for life – even a life scourged by painful adversity – never retreated an inch that I detected.

But now I will emphasize his loving wife Susan’s words. "He’s in heaven and at peace now." Joe possessed and projected the deepest faith of any layman I have ever known…and frankly more richly than some clerics! So " heaven and at peace..." is the eternal state he sought, but he did not seek to hurry. He was also a very special family man, with deep love, devotion, and faith governing that role for him.

In sum, I suppose what I am trying to squeeze out of these few remaining brain remnants is that Joe Rodwell served his earthly responsibilities with full commitment and selfless effort, to the immense benefit of many of us who had the good fortune to embrace him! He is now and forever in his chosen place, no doubt already pursuing whatever he can to reunite his family in eternity.

Sincerely and sadly,

David Samuel

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