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RODER, John July 17, 1950 – January 6, 2018 John Carling Christopher Roder passed away peacefully on January 6, 2018 with family by his side. His wife, Mary-Lou Roder (nee van Engelen), daughter Jessica (Matthew) and son Nathan (Marie) are relieved he is finally at rest after a prolonged journey with Huntington's Disease. John was a lifelong adventurer who travelled Canada and the world and was insatiably curious. He held a post as a Canada Research Chair in Learning and Memory and made significant contributions to both the fields of immunology and neurobiology throughout his career. Predeceased by father John (1986) and mother Helen (2015). Beloved brother of Mary Falconer (Paul) and Ruth Ann Leroux (Danny). The family wishes to thank the many compassionate and caring individuals who supported us in John's care through CCAC, at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital in London. John received the best of care at both Dearness and Westmount Gardens over the past few years. Cremation to occur at Woodland Cemetery in London, Ontario with a Celebration of Life to be announced.

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Published in Toronto Star on Jan. 10, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Hugh and Diane Pross
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36 entries
March 13, 2020
This is a memory for Marylou. John and I were lab partners in Grade twelve Chemestry class. Our most memorable feats were blowing up our experiment in his parents basement, evacuating the house, and trying it again and staining the back wall of the school. Amazing friend and human being, sorry for your loss.
Dave Lester
November 18, 2019
The world needs more people like this gentleman. Greatly admired.
Maggie Gómez
March 21, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family of the late Dr. John Roder, whom I had been given the privileged to work with (along with Dr. Joseph Culotti) for close to three years at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (Mt. Sinai Hospital Toronto). When you share an office with someone as I did with John you get to really know a person. Although saddened I do concur with his family that, in light of his suffering and a growing inability for him to do what he loved to do the most (research), his passing appears as a blessing. Of his legacy, I think on one word: inspiration. He inspired me to complete my PhD); he has inspired me to publish, to travel, to be creative, and to draw from varied disciplinary perspectives. He enjoyed, for example reading/learning from varied disciplines, related to neuroscience and beyond, making room on his bookshelf for example the writings of Shakespeare. He tremendously enjoyed going on canoe trips with members of his lab, as a way to build teamwork. He enjoyed attending and presenting at conferences. A thinker, a life-long learner, a scholar, a listener, a leader these attributes predominately stand out in my mind as to who John (Dr. Roder) was. While attending my wedding his advice to me was just say yes dear. This is perhaps the best advice I have received from anyone. Thank you John. Indeed, as a friend, he is genuinely missed.
Dr. Kevin Willison
April 15, 2018
Our deepest condolences to the family. We had the honor to meet John while working in the research labs at University Hospital, London, ON, and knew from our daily interactions that he was destined for greatness.
Anna & Roy Metcalfe
April 10, 2018
I remember talking to you at our family picnic. Despite some difficulty talking, you were able to convey your thoughts clearly. I could see that your work meant a lot to you. A memorable conversation.
February 12, 2018
I had the pleasure of collaborating with John several years ago and recalled his razor sharp attention to detail when conducting some key experiments for the paper. I was particularly impressed as it was in an area slightly tangent to his speciality yet he could provide insightful ideas for it. A great scientist and nice gentleman who will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to the family.
Satish Patel
February 5, 2018
John meant so much to the neuroscience community here. He will be greatly missed, and always remembered for his generosity, sense of purpose, and good humor.
John Yeomans
January 22, 2018
Dr. Roder was a fantastic scientist and I distinctly remember meeting him when I was a postdoc and in my first few years as a junior faculty member. He was so kind and inspiring to me since we worked in the same scientific area, he will be deeply missed. We need more senior mentors like him.
Karun Singh
January 20, 2018
My heartfelt sympathy to Mary Lou and family along with John's sisters Ruth Anne and Mary Lou.. I have not seen John for nearly 40 years, time moves so quickly in this lifetime. I have very fond memories of John playing ball with my brother John and our many adventures in Arkona. Sharing rides with John on his motorcycle, awaiting his return home in a box at Christmas to surprise the love of his life Mary Lou ! Always under the watching and caring eyes of his Mother Helen. I remember how tragic it was for John and his family when they suffered with John SR and Huntingtons ! What a huge loss. I had no idea John had devoted his life to research out of his desire to acquire knowledge and love for his family ! What an amazing person I was able to share my childhood with !! Thank you Johnny Roder, Dr Roder, job well done !! May you rest in the arms of your parents, and grand parents. My deepest condolences to all his family.. may you find comfort in the happy and joyful days with John !! Sincerely Marjorie(Lambie) Emery
January 19, 2018
John was a brilliant scientist with a wonderful quirky sense of humour. I will always remember time spent with John and Mary Lou with a smile. John set a positive example for all of us, in so many ways.
Bev Heim-Myers
January 18, 2018
Of the nearly 20 years I worked in Canada, the years in John's lab were the most inspirational. My heartfelt condolences.
Alexander Kraev
January 17, 2018
John was my sister's son and the first grandchild in the Eastman family. Loved by all that knew him and yes such a loss in the field of medicine he was in. Being the youngest in our family he was the baby that I longed for my mother to have.At b12 you do not realize their is a limit after 9 births. Loved looking after him many times and never a burden. Forever in my heart Aunt Anne
January 15, 2018
John was truly a great teacher, a fantastic mentor, and a good friend. We will all miss him dearly.
Jeff Henderson
January 14, 2018
John was an inspiration to the scientific community of Toronto. His work carries on through all of his wonderful trainees. He will be sadly missed.
Jane Mitchell
January 13, 2018
2009 - John's lab
Dear Mary-Lou, Jessica and Nathan,

John always will be in my memories since he greatly had changed my life. He was my TEACHER of real SCIENCE. It was very creative, fruitful, impressive to work in John's lab for many years. I read recently about five main principles of great scientific discoveries, which includes: inspiration, experience, genius paradox, case (incident), and miracle of discovery. All five elements were in John's lab atmosphere. It is very sad that John suffered from his disorder, but he went through this part of his way as very strong man. All my sincere condolences to you.
Tanya Lipina
January 13, 2018
John was an incredible teacher and an inspiring researcher. My condolences for his family.
KD Williams
January 13, 2018
I will always remember John with great fondness and admiration. When I started out as a new faculty member in Toronto, he generously donated time, resources and equipment to help me establish my research program. He set an example that I deeply appreciated at the time and will aspire to follow.
Howard Mount
January 12, 2018
John was an incredible scientist and a wonderful man. He will be missed by the many friends and colleagues who greatly admired and valued him. My condolences to his family.
Marla Sokolowski
January 12, 2018
John was a great scientist and remarkable person who was an inspiration to me.
Reinhart Reithmeier
January 12, 2018
We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the family. John was a wonderful person, a great scientist and human being. He mentored our daughter Claire in the lab and she enjoyed playing in the orchestra with Nathan. John was an inspiration to many young people, a great role model. He will be sadly missed by all.
Ellen and George Fantus
January 12, 2018
My condolences to your family at this time. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. I pray your family is surrounded in love and peace that surpasses all understanding today and every day forward It's so hard to lose someone we love so dear and at times we are left with questions. I pray you Celebrate this Brilliant man. Live each day, no sorrow. Live each moment with Love and may you see the beauty of all that surrounds you each day. Mary Falconer may sorrow be turned to Joy. Beauty for ashes. May the Lord surround you all in His beauty and Grace. Peace. In Jesus Name. Amen
Jacqueline Kennedy
January 12, 2018
My sincere condolences Mary-Lou and family. John's work was inspirational and deeply influenced my own research. I am honoured to follow in John's footsteps as a Senior Investigator at the LTRI (Mount Sinai Hospital) and will continue his work to understand how alterations in brain function contributes to major neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as autism, depression, schizophrenia and dementia.
Graham Collingridge
January 12, 2018
John lived his life to the fullest with great courage and ability. Eternally curious, taking every opportunity to discover and experience new things. John will be greatly missed by the world of research and discovery.
Malcolm Baines
January 12, 2018
Dear Mary-Lou and family. Please accept our sincere condolences. Iuri and Nara(We met at Eddy and Zulma's house and are your friends from Brazil).
January 12, 2018
Dear Mary Lou - condolences to you and the family. But what a journey! No one can doubt the tremendous impact that John had on so many people worldwide and so many scientific endeavours. Rather than being 'at rest', it's easier to imagine him exploring his new environment with the tenacity and curiosity he brought to everything he did. He'll always be with me.
Susan Cole
January 12, 2018
Marylou and family remembering you and John from high school. So sorry for your loss. Janice (Cook) Sharpe
January 12, 2018
Diane and I would also like to convey our sadness on John's passing to Mary-Lou and their family. Before his career at U. Of T. John was a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Queen's in the early eighties. I first met him when he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. I was there to give a talk on natural killer cells and he introduced himself and told me he wanted to come to Queen's and do research in tumour immunology. Which he did. He soon became known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm. He was extremely caring of his students and went out of his way to help them realize their potential. He supervised numerous Life Science students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and many of us owe a large part of the success of our careers to our collaboration with him and to his incredible productivity in the area of tumour immunology and natural killer cells at that time. He made his mark in the 5 years that he was at Queen's and we missed him when he left for U of T to work in neurobiology/immunology. We miss him still.
Hugh Pross
January 11, 2018
My sincerest condolences to Mary Lou, Jessica, Nathan and to John's sisters Ruth Anne and Mary Lou and their families. I have watched John grow from a little boy ,through teen aged years and followed his amazing career with interest.He was an amazing man. He had wonderful support from a dedicated, caring wife. Praying for you all now and in the days ahead.

Sympathy prayer

Dear Lord, please comfort those in grief,
Love them, lift them, give relief
For loss they've suffered, sadness felt;
Make this sorrow slowly melt.

Lord, let happy memories ease,
Creating peace like a gentle breeze,
And as you help them make it through.
Draw them closer, Lord, to you.

Sincere condolences on your loss.

By Joanna Fuchs
Irene Zavitz
January 11, 2018
To: Mary-Lou, Jessica and Nathan, My deepest sympathies on John's passing. John, Mary Lou and Nathan played a pivotal role in the beginning of my daughter's recovery and reclaiming of her life. I will never forget this and how John was so kind and gentle to her during her difficult times, John will always be in my thoughts.
January 11, 2018
My sincere condolences Anne, Marylou and family. May John rest in peace.
Francine Leroux
January 11, 2018
Dear Dr. Roder, You were an amazing committee member to me during my Ph.D. studies 1997-2003. You brought me insight, support, and laughter. Lab meetings at Mt Sinai, conferences everywhere, Ph.D. committee meetings that were SO stressful but somehow you always managed to make me laugh.... Years later, seeing you struggle but still giving talks, attending conferences, supporting your students. You were an inspiration and I deeply deeply respect your perseverance and the contributions you made to the world. Rest in Peace, Dr. Roder.
Colleen Dockstader
January 11, 2018
Our sincere condolences Mary Lou, Linda and Marek Cerajewski
January 11, 2018
John will be sorely missed by his many colleagues at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital where John worked as a senior scientist for over 30 years. Our memories of John and his amazing scientific contributions will continue to impact the diseases he worked so very hard to beat. So many people who never got to meet John owe so much to his selfless work. Our deepest sympathies Mary-Lou. You were John's inspiration.
Jim Woodgett
January 11, 2018
Ryan and I are so sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking of you.
Krista Van kessel
January 10, 2018
My sincerest condolences to you Mary Lou and your family

Doris van Rassel
January 10, 2018
My condolences to Mary lou, Jessica,Nathan,
Family and Friends of John.
May he rest in peace.
Edwin Klijn
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