Gilbert “Roy” Roderick

Gilbert Leroy Roderick, born August 18, 1933 in Waukon, died Sunday, October 16, 2022 in St. Anthony, MN. A Celebration of Life will be held in Waukon in June of 2023.

Known locally as Leroy or Roy, Gilbert attended one-room schools until middle school. He graduated from Waukon High School in 1951. Gilbert was the fifth child born to Anne Marie Huffman and William Gilbert Roderick.

After graduating high school, he worked at odd jobs helping farmers, demolishing a school, etc. until he was called up for military duty. He was sent to Korea and, for fans of the television show “MASH”, he was the Radar O’Reilly of his unit. When his tour with the Army was completed, he enrolled in the Iowa State College of Engineering. After completing his degree, Gilbert (Roy) worked for the Bureau of Reclamation where he was involved in the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.

He returned to Iowa State where he received both his masters and PhD in Civil Engineering. While working on his doctorate, he met Sharon Snelling and they were married in 1962. Upon graduation, Roy taught for three years at the University of Rhode Island. Family and Midwest roots called them back and he spent the rest of his teaching career as a College of Civil Engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Gilbert also served on local, state and national committees for the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Roy enjoyed camping, hiking, biking, skiing and travel. He and Sharon went on many Elderhostels (Road Scholar) and especially enjoyed the ones they took with their grandchildren. Elderhostel Adventures took them to Alaska, Australia, Bolivia, Peru and New Zealand. They also traveled all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico and England. They moved to Oshkosh, WI to care for Sharon’s mother in 1999. Recently, due to health problems, they moved to St. Anthony, MN to be near their daughter.

Gilbert is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sharon; his son, Kevin (Rocio); his daughter, Martha (Larry) Harsch; his grandchildren, Whitney (Antone) Bak, Trey Harsch, Ricardo Roderick and Madeline Roderick; his sisters, Carol Moe and Sharon Massie; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Oliver (Margie), Marlin and Robert; and his sisters, Alta (James) Prestemon and Leota (James) Prestemon.