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David Morgan Roderick Jr.

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David Morgan RODERICK Jr. David Morgan Roderick died peacefully in Seattle on December 4, 2007 at the age of eighty-six. Born in Frederick, MD on October 29, 1921 to Mary Louise Rochester and David M. Roderick Sr., he returned with his family to Seattle where he attended Isaac I. Stevens elementary, Broadway High School (class of ’39) and the University of Washington. He majored in economics at the UW and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the Naval ROTC. Commissioned in the US Navy in 1943, he flew DC-3s throughout the Pacific in Squadrons VR-11, VR-13 and VR-3. Returning to the UW after the war, he captained the championship 1946 crew team and was president of the Young Democrats and the Big W Club. Graduating with a degree in economics in 1947, Dave ran as a Democrat for the State house from the old 35th District in downtown Seattle and was elected in 1948, serving two terms while also attending the UW Law School, (class of ’53). He married his first wife, Jean, in ’48 and together they had three children, David, Laura Lee and Bartley. He served as the union arbitrator for the Seattle waterfront while practicing law in Weyer Roderick Schroeter and Stern, and Roderick Lobdell Makus and Coney, with offices in the Hoge and Dexter/Horton buildings. He was very active in the labor and civil rights movements and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1960 he went to work as the advance man for John F. Kennedy’s campaign, and on his return to Seattle tried to reform the state Democratic party according to the model he observed in big cities like Chicago and Philadelphia. Divorced from Jean in ’58, he married his second wife Marcia in ’61. He was Counsel for the Assoc. of Washington Cities and the Legislative Committee on Cities and Counties from ’58-’62, was a founder and director of both Cascade Security Bank and Bank of the West. In ’66 they moved to Kingston in Kitsap County where he ran again for the legislature in ’68 and was defeated by a Republican. He and Marcia had two children, John and Susan. The family moved to Alaska in ’71 where David was the attorney for the Alaska State Housing Authority and president of Pacific Rim, Inc. He and Marcia were divorced in ’74. He served as campaign chief for his brother Jack’s successful run for Anchorage Borough Mayor in ’74. Later he was Chief Counsel for the Alaska Railroad ’77-‘85, and an Administrative Law Hearing Officer for the Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development ’85-‘95. He was an active member of the Anchorage Rotary Club, the Alyeska Ski Club, and was Wing Legal Officer of the Civil Air Patrol. He owned several small Cessna aircraft and took great pleasure in puddle jumping around Alaska, and he survived a crash in the Yukon Territories. Throughout his life he loved every kind of sport. He rooted for the Huskies, played basketball well into his fifties, raced his sailboat, Blueberry, in regattas throughout Puget Sound, and remained a competitive ski racer late into his seventies. He was absolutely colorblind in regard to race, and was renowned for his sense of humor and open heart. After his retirement in ’95 he reluctantly left Alaska and settled in Tacoma, where he spent his evenings arguing politics with his lifelong friend, Judge Jack Tanner. David was also an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 45 years, attending meetings whenever possible. He credited AA with saving his life on more than one occasion and regarded it as his church. He is survived by all his children; both his ex-wives (!); his younger brother, Jack; his grandchildren, Elizabeth and Riley; and his great-granddaughter, Juniper. He was predeceased by his beloved sister, Julia Lee Knudsen. A memorial service will be held at the Washington Athletic Club on Friday, December 28 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society.
Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 27 to Dec. 28, 2007
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