• Eustis & Cornell Funeral Home
    Marblehead, MA
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Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith

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December 19, 2014
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December 19, 2014
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January 28, 2013
Dear Phyllis, Andy & Robin, Michael & Allison, Carrie and Christian,
Like others who knew Roddy, I think of him almost every day. The Marblehead Lighthouse, especially in December when the Christmas lights are shining; whenever I cross the Causeway; whenever I go to the gym; whenever I go to the Community Center or the Library; whenever I eat a BLT or egg salad sandwich; whenever I go on a boat ( especially on the intracoastal when our engine stopped) whenever I hear any kind of music that I know he and I enjoyed; whenever I have a sustained, uncontrollable laughter. I'm sure there are many more memories that flash through my mind all the time. Yes there is sadness but with it much joy. The joy of having known him, the memories and realizing what a terrific husband, father and friend he was.I miss him as do all the others who truly know him. Much love to all of you.
Clarkie
September 14, 2012
I WAS SO SADDENED TO HERE ABOUT RODS PASSING. IT SEEMS ONLY YESTERDAY WE WERE ALL IN COLLEGE TOGETHER. ROD AND PHYLISS, TIM AND MILLIE AND RON AND JOAN. ALSO ONLY YESTERDAY JOAN AND I WERE WITH YOU IN GRANADA.
PHYLISS PLEASE TAKE CARE AND STAY WELL

ALL OUR LOVE

RON AND JOAN
June 30, 2012
Did you know that Rod had a very, very tough and short career as a cook on a cruising/racing sailboat? This is how it came about.

Talked into a sailing “adventure” by me, Rod (not being a sailor and prone to sea sickness and sunburn) agreed to be the cook on the “leisurely” (non-racing) return leg of a Marion to Bermuda sailboat race. I would help out as a sailing crew member on the same friend's boat. All we had to do was fly to Bermuda once the race was almost over, do a little partying in Bermuda and leisurely sail back with the crew to Marblehead …. Rod as cook …. Me as crew …. Soft core adventure at hand.

The first day in Bermuda before the sailboats arrived, we decided to rent motor scooters, tour the island (where driving is on the left side of the road), catch a little sun and maybe have a drink during lunch. Well, we were not quite up to the challenge as Rod had a little scooter accident as his bike caught a rut in the sandy road and over went Rod resulting in many scrapes and ugly deep bruises on his body, but otherwise unharmed. Not a good beginning … but the partying continued because none of the sailboats in the race could cross the finish line because they all became becalmed. When the race was finally over, many were eager to quickly return to their home ports as they had promised their families that they would indeed be back by the 4th of July celebrations.

Though bruised, scraped and tired Rod bravely rallied and made ready for the return trip … ready to display his “cooking” talents to the rest of the tired, hungry, two-way crew. In the rush to leave, Rod understandably forgot to take his much-needed seasick medication before they left port. As the first storm hit only a few hours out of port, Rod immediately became sick and remained that way for most of the trip. Harnessed into the cockpit for 24 hours a day through thick and thin he bravely attempted to go below to cook, only to be miserable after every attempt. So the great sailing/cruising adventure that I promised him proved to be a lot less than that and thus a potential great career as an onboard cruising/racing sailboat cook never materialized for Rod.
June 30, 2012
Remembrance delivered by Susan Zoia at Memorial Service

David and I met Phyl and Rod one winter's afternoon downstairs in Maddie's with Andy and Adam in backpacks. For almost 42 years our families grew up together, played together, had many adventures and laughs, and more food, drinks than can be remembered. The only difficult part was having to endure watching Rod eat velvetta, liverwurst and mayo on white bread.

The best choice Rod ever made was to marry his one true love and his rock, Phyllis Budnicki, who he met in college. Together they raised Andy, Mike and Carrie. Three more loving, supportive and humorful people you'd be hard put to find. Not surprising, they married equally wonderful people, Robin, Allison, and Christian. All six have unconditionally loved and supported Rod and Phyl as they navigated these difficult times. They are a unique family loved by so many as is evidenced by the amazing turnout today.

Rod was incredibly funny, witty, the life of any party and brilliant, a proud member of Mensa. Rod loved poetry and music and always sang and quoted poetry to family and friends. Rod's kindness was one of his many attributes. Rod was the guy who spotted a person sitting alone at a party and he would go over and sit with him. Soon he had the person laughing along with him. My mom lived with us for six years. She was in her 90's. Rod spent more time with her than any non-family member, even though she always called him “Rob”. She loved him dearly.

About 18 years ago a bunch of us went to the Cape to learn to play golf. The end result was that Roddy developed a skill I have never seen. He could hit the tee 50 yards without ever touching the ball! David and I were living on Russell Street when a smoking type fire broke out in our house due to a candle being blown over onto a bookshelf. It was frightening and I was my usual self in an emergency, sobbing – incoherent. We could not stay at our place so I called the Smiths to see if we could sleep over. Rod couldn't understand me as I was crying so hard. He said, “If this is Susan, please put David on the phone.” David took the phone and calmly said, “Hi Rod, we're having a little fire over here. Susan and I were wondering if it's not too inconvenient, could we stay with you for a few days? Rod said incredulously, “Are you two at the same fire?”

Rod went through a stage where he would compulsively order useless items from TV ads. One morning we were getting ready for a party. Rod called and asked if he could come over and clean all our bathrooms. We thought, “Who is this person? Bring our Roddy back.” I opened the door to a sight I will never forget. It was so bizarre. Rod was standing there in a hairnet, a long plastic apron with little ducks all over it, long plastic gloves, holding a cleaning basket worthy of a professional industrial cleaner. He looked like a cross between Mary Poppins run amuck and Mr. Clean off steroids. One hour later David and I were concerned that Rod was overcome by cleaning fumes so we checked on him. We found Rod sweaty and disgusted. He peeled off all the cleaning clothes. He looked at both of us and said, “Whose idea was this? I quit.”

I would bet that there are very few people in this room that have not been touched by Rod Smith in a positive way, whether through his love, humor, kindness, or friendship. He will remain in our hearts forever.
June 29, 2012
Hi Phyllis - Although recent years have passed with too few Rod-sightings, we remember earlier days in Marblehead, when we first moved here in the '70s. Every time we were with Rod, he had us laughing! What a wonderful wit he had! That is how we will remember him. May peace and happiness be in your future. Nina & Bruce Robertson
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