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David M. Roderick

David M. Roderick Obituary
Mr. David Milton Roderick, 95, died Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at home in Latrobe. As a child and young man in the predominantly blue-collar North Side Pittsburgh neighborhood, Mr. Roderick earned money as a caddy, paperboy, magazine salesman and retail clerk, while also excelling in football, boxing, baseball, and golf. While an employee with Gulf Oil, he joined the Marine Corps at 17 in 1942, and served as a platoon sergeant in the Pacific until 1945. Upon returning stateside, he rejoined Gulf Oil and attended Robert Morris College at night, earning a degree in accounting and law. He also gained a B.S. degree in economics and finance from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1953, Roderick became assistant comptroller of the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Co. and the Union Railroad Co. In 1959, he joined U.S. Steel Corp., and from 1964 to his retirement from U.S. Steel (USX) in 1989, held positions of vice president accounting international, vice president international, chairman of the Finance Committee, board director, chairman of the board, and CEO. Under Roderick's leadership, U.S. Steel was reshaped and transformed from primarily a steel company into a major energy company: facilities were upgraded, efficiency was improved, and in a diversifying merger with Marathon Oil Co., U.S. Steel became USX Corp. During his tenure at USX, Mr. Roderick worked closely with Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush to make the steel industry stronger. He served as co-founder and chairman emeritus of the U.S.-Korea Business Council, and chairman of the International Environmental Bureau. He was appointed to the President's Commission on Executive Exchange, and the Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations. Thanks to his international positions, he and his family lived in Paris, London, and Rome, and traveled extensively on several continents. Committed to good corporate citizenship, during those years, Mr. Roderick was a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute and the International Iron Institute. He served as chairman of the National Alliance of Business, and was a member of both the Business Roundtable and the prestigious Business Council, an organization dedicated to the business community's contributions to the American people. Roderick was also a member and past chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute and the International Iron and Steel Institute, which awarded him the prestigious Gary Medal in 1984 for his service to the industry. Along with his corporate achievements, Roderick was also very active in civic arenas, including medicine, education, sports, the environment, and the Boy Scouts. At home in Pittsburgh, Mr. Roderick was chairman or director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees, and the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club, for which he chaired the committee charged with selecting the location of PNC Park. He served as president of the United Way of Allegheny County, was involved with the Boy Scouts of America, and established a scholarship program for young engineering students. In 1991, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy established the David M. Roderick Reserve on the Lake Erie shoreline to honor Mr. Roderick's conservation advocacy. An avid outdoorsman, hunter, and sports enthusiast, Mr. Roderick also worked with Arnold Palmer in founding the Winne Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College to honor the renowned golfer's wife. In 2006, the American Ireland Fund gave Mr. Roderick its Distinguished Leadership Award for his exceptional work in community and charitable events. Aside from professional and civic positions, occupations, and organizations, Mr. Roderick was a chairman or director of the following boards: Kelso and Co.; Proctor and Gamble Co.; American Standard Companies, Inc.; Aetna Life and Casualty Co.; Texas Instruments Inc.; Citation Corp.; Baron Enterprises, General Medical Corp.; and Earle M. Jorgensen Co. He was also affiliated with Trane Inc., BWAY Corp., and General Medical Inc. He was awarded Doctor of Law degrees from Washington and Jefferson College and Fordham University, and was a member of Laurel Valley Golf Club and Augusta National. For his numerous business, medical, educational, and global accomplishments; his lifelong work ethic, discipline, leadership, and dedication to family, hometown, national, and worldwide affairs, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans awarded Mr. Roderick its highest honor. Mr. Roderick was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Elizabeth J. "Betty" Roderick; and a sister, Jane Plyler. He is survived by Rebecca C. Fisher, a dear companion for 23 years; a brother, William Donald Roderick (Nancy), of Pittsburgh; three children, David M. Roderick Jr. (Nancy), of Ligonier; Patricia Roderick Morton (Thruston), of Charlotte, N.C.; and Thomas K. Roderick (Susan), of Orlando, Fla. He is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS INC. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com), 4900 Centre Ave. at Devonshire Street. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Vincent Archabbey Basillica, Latrobe, with Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., presiding. Interment will be private.
Remembrances may be made to St. Vincent College.
Published in Greensburg Tribune Review from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, 2019
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