Bruce Gordon Rodenhizer was born full of life on March 18, 1929 and left this world pulling weeds, full of life until his final breath on September 18, 2022 to be with his angel in Heaven Lavelda!
He would tell you he was an afterthought born to Ellis (E.W.) and Anna (Mollgaard) Rodenhizer in Powers Lake, North Dakota, or as he was known to say that “It’s not quite Heaven, but you can see it from there”.
Bruce grew up in Powers Lake during the depression, the youngest of his siblings, Lucille, Earl (Pete), Wilbert (Ribs), and Shirley. He excelled at his schoolwork, played basketball, and held the Powers Lake scoring record for many years. He was in a swing band in high school playing the trumpet and the harmonica. After high school graduation in 1947 he attended the North Dakota Agricultural College (now known as N.D.S.U) getting his B.S. degree in pharmacy in 1952. While attending college he took 1 year off to custom combine from Texas to North Dakota in order to continue paying his tuition.
Bruce met the love of his life, Lavelda, when they were both working at the White Drug in Moorhead, Minnesota. They were married on August 16, 1952. Bruce served in the United State Army from August 1952 to August 1954, and was stationed in Korea in 1953 and 1954. He was proud to wear his Korean War Veteran hat wherever he went, and always appreciated hearing “Thank you for your service”. After his military service the family lived in Williston, North Dakota where Bruce worked at Irgens Drug. In 1957 they moved to Stanley, North Dakota where they raised their five sons, Brent, Barry, Tracy, Travis, and Carter. Bruce and Lavelda instilled in their sons through the example they set, Christian values, a great work ethic, and to always follow the golden rule!
Bruce was a member of many professional and community organizations. He felt a great sense of duty to his profession and especially to his fellow humans. He served as president and member of many boards: President of ND Board of Pharmacy (2 terms), President of Pharmaceutical Association, past member of Stanley’s Masonic Lodge, founder of Stanley Jaycees (Outstanding Jaycee Young Man of the Year), member of the American Legion, member of the American Lutheran Church and served on the church council, Elks, and the Stanley School Board. He was elected Mayor of Stanley at the age of 33, and served as Mayor for eight years. He was instrumental in getting paving, curb and gutters, sidewalks, sewer system, and the first 3-man 24-hour police force in Stanley. He received the Kappa PSI State Pharmacist of the year award, the National A.H. Robins Bowl of Hygea Award, and many other awards too numerous to mention.
Bruce was a man of many accomplishments but his most treasured were his Christian faith, marriage to Lavelda, raising five good sons, and when his grandkids and then great grandkids came. All he could say was how blessed he was, and that life was made up of precious moments!
After selling the Dakota Drug to Brent and Naomi in 1994, Bruce and Lavelda maintained their North Dakota residence but were snowbirds to Arizona. He continued doing relief work until his early 80’s. He loved Arizona but considered North Dakota his home. Other than spending time with family some of his favorite past times were the Stanley breakfast, visiting with friends or maybe friends listening to him, playing bingo and poker, watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Matlock, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke, and Lawrence Welk. He loved when it was time for Little League National Baseball Championships and golf.
Bruce was preceded in death by his much-loved wife, Lavelda; parents, Ellis and Anna Rodenhizer; siblings, Lucille (Otis) Slotsve, Earl “Pete” (Vivian) Rodenhizer, Wilbert “Ribs” Rodenhizer, Shirley (John) Thompson; grandsons, Christopher and Thomas Rodenhizer.
He is survived by his sons, Brent (Naomi) of Gold Canyon, AZ, Barry (Kathy) of Thomasville, NC, Tracy of Provincetown, MA, Travis (Weni) of Michigan City, IN, and Carter of Hapeville, GA; grandchildren, Heather (Quintin) Lee of Stanley, ND, Brady Rodenhizer of Stanley, ND, Joe Rodenhizer of Thomasville, NC, Carrie Rodenhizer Harris of Virgina Beach, VA; great-grandchildren, Quayde, Raygen, and Kerrington Lee of Stanley, ND, Cordella Rodenhizer of Virginia Beach, VA, and Everly Rodenhizer of Thomasville, NC; sister-in-law, Gloria Wirt of Havre, MT; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
I can do all things thru Christ, who strengthens me!
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