Roderick Arthur Dresser, Sr.
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1933 ~ 2011
CARMEL - Noted local photographer, Roderick Arthur Dresser, Sr., passed away October 25, 2011 with his wife and family at his side. Born in Watsonville in 1933 to Arthur and Rosabelle Dresser, Rod attended Carmel High School, and then went on to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was graduated in 1956 with a degree in pyrotechnical engineering. He served in the Navy on destroyers and nuclear submarines for many years, and then in the Navy Reserves, where he eventually became Commander of the Reserve unit in Monterey.
After resigning from the service, he ran the family construction business for many years, until deciding to pursue his greatest interest, photography, as a full-time career. In 1981 he developed a friendship with Ansel Adams, and eventually became the noted photographer's assistant in the studio and the darkroom. He continued to work for the Ansel Adams Trust as the business manager until pursuing his own work teaching workshops and lecturing throughout the United States. In 2002, he published a monogram, Artists' Choice. Though his subject matter was initially often landscapes, his work became more abstract, as he was driven by an affinity for both simplicity and texture. His photographs are represented in major collections and museums around the world.
Rod leaves behind Margaret (Maggi) Weston, his wife of ten years and her family; his two children, Kathleen (Kathy) Whitehead (Robert Whitehead), and Roderick (Rick) Dresser Jr. (Ruth Herrera Dresser); their mother and his former wife, Dolores (Dee) Dresser; and his four grandchildren, Griffin, Allison, Rosie, and Ryan. A sister, Constance, predeceased him.
A celebration of his life will be held at a date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be sent to the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Nov. 2, 2011