The Rev. Richard A. Rodning served as a parish pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor bodies for 41 ½ years prior to his retirement in 1988. He was born March 14, 1923 in Minnewaukan, N. Dak. His parents, Syver Rodning and Bergit Bjella, were immigrants from Hallingdal, Norway. Richard grew up in the town of his birth during years of the Great Depression. He was like an “only child” among six siblings, who were in high school and beyond, when he was born. He earned his BA degree at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, then attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where he earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1947. His first call was to Vashon Lutheran Church on Vashon Island, Washington, where he was ordained on July 27, 1947.
Richard (Dick) had found the love of his life at Concordia. He and Elaine Johnson of Brantford, North Dakota, were married in1948. She was a faithful mother and devoted helpmate. In Grandview, Washington, they developed a new congregation. Immanuel Lutheran. In Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, he served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran for 13 years, the primary time of the family’s growth. There he discovered and developed his love for teaching. Subsequent parishes were served in Lancaster, California, and in Scobey and Conrad, Montana. In Montana he served for five years as district editor for the Lutheran Standard. During the final ten years prior to retirement Pastor Rodning served Peace Lutheran Church in downtown Puyallup, Washington. Again, he was editor for the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA for five years. After retiring in 1988 Pastor Rodning with his wife, Elaine, taught for LAMP (Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots) among Haida natives in the Queen Charlotte Islands. They visited our companion synod in Namibia, southern Africa. In 1996 the couple moved to the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community, where he led a series of Bible studies over the next fifteen years.
Dick is survived by his devoted wife of 73 years, Elaine, and three daughters: Rebecca (Don) Frank of Murieta, California; Susan of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; and Sharon (Mike) Rodning Bash of Minneapolis and their family, Nate (Jennifer) Cross Bash of Minneapolis MN and great-granddaughter Isla Rose, and Eleanor (Brad Cooke) Bash of Calgary Alberta and great-grand daughter Ivy. Two sons preceded their parents in death: Nathan in 2002 and Steven in 2016. Nathan is survived by his wife, Claudia Rodning of Edmonton Alberta and family, Karin and Erika Rodning. Steven is survived by his wife, Celeste Collier, of Baltimore Maryland and her family, Carley (Larry) Czyzewski and great-daughters Julianne and Olivia, and Jessica Fawley (Roger) and great-grandsons Alexander, Jonathan and Jeremy; Steven is also survived by his children Kirsten Rodning and Philip Rodning of Georgia.
Pastor Rodning counted it a priceless privilege to be involved in so many ways with his devoted wife, Elaine, over his lifetime in the mission and adventure of the Lord’s service.
There will be a live streamed Memorial Service on Sunday, April 11, 2021, 2 pm Pacific Daylight Time. You may join this service either through Facebook Live or via a closed YouTube channel as posted here. This information will also be available from the homepage of the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows website: https://www.smlutheran.org/.
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smlutheran
· YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzpKZ4dkv2EtccpZkS5Bj3Q
If the opportunity can be offered in the future, the family and parish will also let you know of any in-person gathering through this site and/or the St. Mark's parish website.
Donations may be made in in Pastor Rodning's name to Lutheran World Relief or St Marks Lutheran Church by The Narrows Directly. Please do not send donations to the family as this becomes hard for them to manage.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Arthur Rodning, please visit our floral store.