Cody Roman Dial
1987 - 2014
{ "" }
Share Cody's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Born Feb. 22, 1987, in Fairbanks, Alaska, Cody Roman Dial died in July 2014, when a tree fell on his camp in a remote off-trail canyon in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. He'd been missing nearly two years when a gold-miner discovered his remains in May 2016. As he traveled through Latin America over seven months in 2014; he emailed friends and family about monarch butterflies in Mexicos Sierra Madre, whale sharks in the Caribbean, Mayan ruins in Guatemalas Peten, canyons in Honduras and narcos in Nicaragua. Physical, intellectual, family and friend-centered, he enjoyed packrafting whitewater, reading as research and recreation and gaming D&D. He liked scuba-diving and skate-skiing, modern music and cooking as an act of love. He wanted to hug and be hugged, to lift weights and climb rock un-roped, to swim and explore. He told great stories, less about him than about those around him. He had a habit of scratching his head with both hands, of thinking before speaking. He shared his treats. He didn't complain. He pitched-in to help. He went to Chester Valley Elementary School, Steller Secondary School, and College of William and Mary on a scholarship. After graduating in biology in 2009, he moved back to Anchorage, Alaska, took a year off, then entered a graduate program at Alaska Pacific University. Living in Anchorage, he commuted by mountain bike year-round for well-over a decade and pioneered whitewater packrafting. He once raced across the Talkeetna Mountains in the Wilderness Classic carrying his packraft on his bike, and then his bike on his packraft. He worked for 10 years at the USGS' Molecular Ecology Lab. For his masters degree he sequenced the DNA of a thumb-sized isopod called Saduria entomon. He published peer-reviewed articles on the DNA of snowy owls and the biogeography of ice worms. He did field-work, too, catching shrews and voles in Gates of the Arctic, Cape Krusenstern, Bering Land Bridge, Nogahabara Sand Dunes, the North Slope and on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Cody Roman leaves behind his sister, Jazz; mother, Peggy; and father, Roman, all in Anchorage; his uncles, aunts and cousins in Fairbanks, the Lower 48 and London; and his grandparents back East. A memorial is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at the Dial's home. Dress for the weather.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Dec. 18, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Robert Dial
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
50 entries
June 3, 2020
I was shocked by the news when I found out. Roman, I'm so sorry for your loss. God bless you, and the rest of the Dial family. Cody will NEVER be forgotten.
Brandon Plemmons
May 31, 2020
They whom we love
and lose
are no longer
where they were before.
They are now
wherever we are.
John Erkmann
March 15, 2020
I'm so sorry for your loss. Just read your book. My heart breaks for your family.
February 21, 2020
Deepest sympathies. The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long. And the candle brightness for this guy looks to be a lot more than that. Perhaps a shorter life full of action is better than to die old in our beds having done nothing and be remembered for nothing. Glad the family eventually got closure, it must have been terrible not knowing what happened. RIP.
Andy Shepherd
February 19, 2020
As painful as it must have been to Mr. Dial and his family, how much better to die young having lived a life filled with excitement and adventure than to grow old never having lived at all.
G. A. Clark
February 18, 2020
I try to imagine your life, it must have been 10 lives packed into one. Thank you for your work and the joy that you obviously gave to people. I sincerely hope that your passing happened quickly and pain free.
Paul Goebert
February 12, 2020
Nan Hammond
February 12, 2020
God got an angel... Dear god. Please let his family know that he's an angel watching over them. Please give them peace and comfort. I lift them up to you Lord. Please keep them wrapped up in your sweet love... In Jesus name in heaven i pray amen
Nan Hammond
December 15, 2019
I never met Cody, however I think of him often. Roman has been a positive role model for myself and a lot of us out here for a long time, and I respect the Legacies created by such an amazing family. Life is so precious. Sending Love and Light and Prayers.
ken foraker
January 16, 2017
Dear Peggy, Roman & Jazz,
I am so sorry about Cody. He was a wonderful son who wanted to continue the legacy of exploration that he so enjoyed with you! I know you ache for just one more hug. I just want to let you know that I pray for God to give you the strength you need every day. Peace comes from knowing that he loved you and you loved him. Death may separate us but love never ends! You will continue to love him more and more every day of your life! God bless his soul and may God comfort you each and every day!❤Love, Nancy M.
Nancy Moravec
January 15, 2017
With friends in Mexico or Central America
January 15, 2017
Somewhere in Central America Spring 2014
January 15, 2017
Active Guatemala volcano
January 15, 2017
With Ward diving in Honduras
January 11, 2017
Deepest sympathy to the Dial family and friends for your loss. RIP Cody.God Bless you.
Pascal (Madrid,Spain)
December 23, 2016
Roman Hunting Shrews
Our condolences. Roman (The Younger) was one of the favorites. We will miss him.
Sandra Talbot
December 22, 2016
Dear Peggy, Roman and Jazz,
How sad to say an earthly goodbye to amazing Cody. He was a special guy, shaped by you as parents, and family, but also his own person. We've been praying for his recovery, one way or another. For to never know would be worse. Peace to you all.
Karen Emmel
December 22, 2016
Dear Peggy, Roman, and Jazz: our hearts go out to you in remembrance of Cody Roman. You have all been wonderful role models to our family. We saddened by your sorrow at losing Cody, but are glad that you finally have some closure, as hard as it must be for you.
Love, Ralph and Nori
Ralph Tingey
December 21, 2016
Peace to the Dial family -- Cody is home.
Heraldo Farrington
December 21, 2016
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply, becomes a part of us.
(Hellen Keller)
Will Watson
December 21, 2016
To the parents of Cody's 1 Thessalonians 4:14 says, For if our faith is that Jesus died and rose again, so too, those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus, God will bring with him. Mine deepest sympathy are with your family.
December 20, 2016
Burning of the Solstice Basket
Doug and I have been with you all since word went out that you couldn't locate Cody and had spent time trying to find him. Our deepest condolences that you lost him, but relief that you now know. He was an adventurer and to that I know that he followed Roman's footsteps in being willing to risk in order to find that great wilderness and harsh beauty that surrounds us all.
Mary Hertert
December 20, 2016
So sorry to hear of your loss. As friends of the Gecks, we were told of your Son's travels and waited to hear of a happy outcome. Although we didn't know Roman, we know what a special person he was. He is now the brightest star you see each night shining down to light your way. Our hearts go out to you and your family. May Roman rest in peace. With our heartfelt sympathy,
Judy & Alex Alvarado
December 20, 2016
I followed this story when he first went missing, and thought that I recognized the name. Seeing his picture reminds me that we did go to school together at Chester Valley. Rest easy, sweet schoolmate.
Cassie Monnens
December 20, 2016
The last time I saw Roman was when he visited me in DC during the summer of 2010. The message he sent:
"Do you have a tent I could borrow for camping in your back yard? I plan on being in nova from june 27 to july 15. I will be couch surfing/living in your backyard."

He stayed in our guest room for a few nights before continuing his travels, but that was his style; happy to just pitch a tent somewhere while adventuring.
Ben "Cookie" Saxton-Ruiz
December 20, 2016
Deepest condolences on the loss of your extraordinary son. Words fail, but one hopes closure on the cause of his passing will help ease your pain.
Jack Griffin
December 20, 2016
Cody is a cool kid. He was a friend if my son, Shawn. Cody helped build a tree stand for hunting and then also to carry the food stuff up to the tree stand for the hunt. He was fun to be around. I miss the boys (Cody, Vinnie, Shawn), and the mischievousness they got into. My prayers are for his family. They belong to the "Lost Club" now, and that is not a club anyone wants to belong to.
Theresa Garland
December 20, 2016
Dear Peggy and Roman, I am heartbroken that you have lost your beautiful, thoughtful, loving and adventuresome son, and I hope that finally knowing where and how he died will at least bring you a small measure of comfort.
Chris Myers
December 20, 2016
Peggy and Roman, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Steve Morrow
December 20, 2016
My heat goes out to Cody's parents for the loss of heir son.
Jim Kentc
December 20, 2016
Cody lived a dozen lives in his short time. What a wonderful life that was. My heart goes out to you all.
December 20, 2016
Roman, Peggy, Jazz, Linda: I am deeply sorry for your loss. You have all been in my thoughts, along with Cody Roman, and will continue to be forever. Sending love, sending hugs to all. Marjie
Marjie Stout
December 20, 2016
Mr. Dial, I am sad for you and your family. I'm grateful that you have concluded what became of your son. As an adventurer myself, I always feared something similar would happen to me and my parents would never know. I hope knowing can bring some measure of(what?) to you. I wish for you some measure of relief.
December 20, 2016
what an amazing life. Something to be celebrated with respect. Sincere condolensences Roman and Peggy.
Matt Van Enkevort
December 20, 2016
Roman and Roman came to visit us in Tasmania once, when they were pioneering some packraft descents in Tassie's southwest with Bill Hatcher. Cody's quiet and reflective approach to his many adventures demonstrated a depth rarely seen in someone so young. Though we only knew him for a week, he made a strong impression and was so full of life and energy. Our condolences, so sorry for your loss, he will be missed.
John Middendorf
December 19, 2016
We are thinking of Cody's family. Our heart breaks for you all.
Alison Boyce
December 19, 2016
I remember watching a TV show about this missing young man.
What a truly remarkable young man he was, and just knowing how much he was loved and how much he loved others, is a truly inspirational thought this time of year.
RIP Cody Roman Dial
Dawn Furnish
December 19, 2016
This past summer I tuned into NPR just at the moment a friend of Roman's spoke his name saying he taught him about the importance savoring the moment by the way Roman took videos/pictures of everything. The person being interviewed did not linger on the potential loss. He shared something that reminded him to live in the spirit that Roman demonstrated. A beautiful tribute. Peggy and family our prayers continue to be with you.
Wisteria Ward
December 19, 2016
A life too short and yet exquisitely well lived. Blessings on the family who provided the shelter for this fine soul.
KathrynElizabeth Nilsson
December 19, 2016
How Special it was to have him for even the short time that was. Yours is truly a remarkable family and gave him such a generous spirit and security to seek and find beauty in the natural and unique of creation. Ecclesiastes 11:9;12:13.
December 19, 2016
A fine young man taken from his family too soon. May you rest in peace and rise inglory, Cody.
December 19, 2016
Incredible Cody. Mourn the loss of such a sprit cut short. And grateful that you finally have closure to the relentless pursuit of the mystery of his tragic death.
Carolyn Muegge Vaughan
December 18, 2016
So sorry for your loss.
Pierre Ostor
December 18, 2016
The light of Solstice, the love and light of Cody's full life will always and in all ways remain in my heart. I am sad for you Roman, Peggy, Cody Roman and Jazz. I feel great strength and courage knowing that the light is with us. Happy and healthy Solstice. I will not be able to come down to Anchorage December 21st. I will be there in true spirit. I will celebrate Cody Roman's life riding a fun wave into the new year.
Lynn Cornberg
December 18, 2016
Sending all my love from Sedona AZ. What an incredible soul. His legend lives on! Very sad for your loss of your son.
Ken Foraker
December 18, 2016
Roman, having met you during the filming of "Into the Wild" and knowing the type of father that you are, you made Cody so proud as I know that you are of him. I followed your post on FB and always had hope until the end. Cody will be remembered and missed by all......
Derek Hill
December 18, 2016
May he rest in peace now and strength to the family.
Gerhard Linner
December 18, 2016
Very sorry for your loss. We know what it is like to lose a son. Keep your memories close to your heart always. Barb Comstock
December 18, 2016
I'll keep the Dail family in my thoughts and prayers.
Beth Koebel, MD
December 18, 2016
So sad to loose such a kind soul but I am glad you have closure as uncomforting as that may seem. So, on behalf of Bjarne and myself may I offer our condolences. Robin Holm Sisters, Oregon
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences