Obituary of William Rodman Jr.
After a year of struggling with many health issues, and heart failure, William (Bill) Rodman Jr. died on November 12, 2018. Thankfully he passed away peacefully with family at his side. Bill was born in San Diego, California, on March 6, 1939. His father, William Rodman Sr. was from New London, Connecticut and his mother, Muriel Strunk, from Garden Grove, California. He lived most of his childhood years moving with his family throughout southern California; Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Long Beach, and Newport Beach to name a few places, working in the fishing, cannery and aircraft industries. The Strunk family made its living as Dory Fishermen off the coast of Newport Beach, where the Dory’s were brought ashore and the families sold their catch of the day to local communities.
Bill attended local schools, graduating from Newport Harbor High School, and 6 ½ years with the Sea Explorers Scouts, in Newport Harbor, where he found his love of the sea. Then attended and graduated from Orange Coast College in 1959 with a degree in Machine Technology. His family moved again this time to northern California so, after graduation Bill moved to Sacramento and then finally Livermore, where he got a job with Lawrence Radiation Laboratories in 1962, and completed his education and became a Journeyman Machinist. During this time Bill also learned to play classical guitar and shared his father’s love of classical music, spending many hours together.
Once again the travel bug had Bill Sr. moving this time to Santa Cruz, Calif. After several years working in Livermore, Bill decided Santa Cruz peaked his interest, especially with the ocean and yacht harbor there. He worked at Pacific Plantronics for a few years, when he met Gerry, and a year later, 1969, they married and shared many adventures and travels together. One was a 5 month trip with two other couples traveling throughout Mexico in a VW camper, and other trips included Costa Rica, Japan, China, and Hawaii. After that they settled down and were able to start a family and buy a home which they still live in today. Bill had many interests and was passionate about sailing, fishing, camping, music and cooking. Even went into his own business, a machine shop, Sailpower Unlimited, serving the local sailing and commercial fishing community in Santa Cruz Harbor and Monterey Bay.
Bill was an active member of the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club, Sons of the Beach Ukulele Club, even teaching Junior High students how to build their own Ukuleles, after building one for himself. He also taught Live Oak 4H students and his nephews how to sail too. He enjoyed working with young people sharing his love of music and the ocean. He was an amazing man with so many talents and always willing to share his knowledge and skills.
Bill is survived by his wife of 49 ½ years, Gerry Mello Rodman, and children, Nini Biakanja (Jim), Benny Rodman, and Leaha Rodman. His grandchildren, Sara Biakanja, Maya Biakanja, Malachi Mahoney, Jeremy Spencer and great grandson Malachi (Kai) Mahoney. He will be dearly missed by cousins, and dear friends who shared many wonderful times together. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Muriel Rodman, and his brother Richard Rodman, and many Aunts and Uncles.
We would like to thank the nurses and doctors from the Visiting Nurses, Santa Cruz Hospice, and Dominican Hospital for their compassionate care. A Memorial Service will be scheduled next year in March.