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Reverend Dr. Keith Richard Roderick

The Very Reverend Dr. Keith Richard Roderick

SPRINGFIELD- The Very Reverend Dr. Keith Richard Roderick, 61, passed away on 11 March 2014.  Father Roderick was born on 26 February 1953 in Springfield, IL to Donald and Joanne (née Spring) Roderick.  Keith married Mary Beth (Hansen) Roderick on 29 June 1974 in Springfield, IL.   Together, Keith and Mary Beth have 6 children, Seth (Lacey) Roderick of Stafford, VA, Micah (Amy) Roderick of Springfield, IL, Noah (Charish) Roderick of Sylvania, OH, Sarah (Jack) Fitch of Yokosuka, Japan, Joseph (Rachel) Roderick of Peoria, IL, Susannah Roderick of Chatham, IL, and one foster child, Malyn (Ahmed) Vasty of Skokie, IL. All children survive.  Keith was further blessed with 1 grandson, Quinn Roderick of Stafford, VA. Keith is survived by his wife, Mary Beth Roderick of Chatham, IL, all of his children, and by his parents, Joanne Roderick of Springfield, IL and Donald (Trish) Roderick of Kenai, AK. He is also survived by his brother Blake (Betsy) Roderick of Pittsfield, IL and his sister, Pam Roderick of Springfield, IL, as well as two stepsisters, Catherine (Kyle) Alexander and Elizabeth Bassler of Bentonville, AR, and several nieces and nephews. Keith attended Belvidere High School and graduated in 1971. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Illinois Air National Guard (183rd Fighter Wing) and later as a reservist in the US Navy. Keith received his Bachelor's Degree from Sangamon State in 1976.  Upon graduation he was accepted to the University of Dubuque, where he studied Theology and received a Master's in Divinity 1980, before going on to further studies at Nashotah House Seminary in 1986.

Father Roderick spent many years preaching in the Episcopal Church, and served in several parishes around the state of Illinois, including St. James' in Marion, St. Stephen's in Harrisburg, St. James' in McLeansboro, St. George's in Macomb, and St. Andrew's in Carbondale. And in 2013, he was invested as provost of the Episcopal Cathedral in Springfield, where he served until his passing.

In addition to his calling as a minister, Keith was an immensely erudite scholar. He published articles in several high-profile journals, testified as an expert witness for multiple congressional committees, and consulted on human rights issues with two US presidents. In 1998, he was appointed dean of Spoon River College in Macomb, IL, where he also taught Philosophy and World Religions. Being the son of educators, he was a natural teacher, and was always in high demand among Spoon River students.

One of Keith's great passions in life was fighting for the rights of people living under religious and political persecution around the world. Underneath his quiet and humble demeanor, Keith was a paragon of courage, traveling to some of the most dangerous places in the Middle East and the Balkans (sometimes to the consternation of his wife) in order to serve the oppressed and vulnerable. As a result, Keith's family is joined by friends from every corner of the globe in mourning his passing.

Although he rarely took time for himself, Keith liked to spend his spare moments with Mary Beth digging through dusty archives and muddy cemeteries on their genealogical adventures. He was also a great fan the Thin Man movies, a love which he passed down to his children, particularly to his youngest, Susannah. Visitation: 4-7 pm, Sunday, March 16, 2014 at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 815 South 2nd St., Springfield, IL.

Funeral Mass: 11 am, Monday, March 17, 2014 at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul with The Rt Revd Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Memorials be made to his daughter Susannah's education fund or The Cathedral Church of St. Paul's Canterbury Project Fund.

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Published in The State Journal-Register on Mar. 14, 2014
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