header 1
header 2
header 3

In Memory

James W. Roddick

James William Roddick
March 21, 1947 - November 19, 2023


It is with abiding grief and calming memory that we announce the death of James William Roddick. Husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend--Jim died in his home under the watchful care of his wife on November 19, 2023 at the age of 76. Forever remembered by his wife, Eva Roddick; his children, Afton (Sean) Manley, Jacob Roddick, Stefanie Roddick, Rachael (Ryan) Hagge; his step-children, Brian Lewis, Collette Boguslawski , and Carl Lewis; his siblings, Charlotte Lahti, Janet Workman, Nancy Goodman, Donna Bowman; and twenty grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, and friends.

Jim was born March 21, 1947 in Fullerton, California. From birth Jim was a dedicated, strong and sensitive soul. At the age of one, Jim won the Fullerton baby contest for "the best looking baby". Jim moved with his family to Alaska when he was just five years old. At the age of six, he set out on an expedition to bring his four-year-old sister, Charlotte, to the newly-built local hospital by giving her a piggy-back ride the entire way. At ten, he was busy running a paper route, a successful venture partially due to his sister Charlotte's assistance-she would carry the papers in the Alaska cold to "keep her warm". At twelve, Jim was amongst an adventurous group of boy scouts who braved the White River before it was closed to all non-natives as a result of the river being too dangerous. By the time Jim was in high school he had become a gifted athlete; baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, track and field- he excelled at them all. He was the high school quarterback, the star of the hockey team, a stellar hitter, and a quick-footed hurdler. You would never know of his rich athleticism by just talking to Jim. He was private and collected about all of his affairs, but in many ways that is what made him so remarkable.

He attended West Point Military Academy on a hockey scholarship straight out of high school, a choice made, apparently, without the knowledge that West Point was a military school. He transferred to Bemidji State University where he played Lacrosse and Hockey during the 1965 - 1966 school year. After a year Jim returned to his Alaskan roots and attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Jim continued his athletic pursuits by playing hockey for the Nanooks for three years. Jim earned MVP during the 1967 - 1968 season with 10 goals and 4 assists. Jim married his high school sweetheart, Darleen Sajak in 1969 and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in May 1970. Jim began his lengthy career in civil service by working as a Radon inspector. Jim divorced Darleen after four years and spent some time working for the Municipality of Anchorage as an Engineer. Jim moonlighted as the owner and operator of the Mercantile in Girdwood, Alaska with the help of his parents and Mayda, his second wife. After the second marriage ended, Jim moved to Eagle River and began working for Alyeska Pipeline on July 20th, 1981.

Shortly thereafter, Jim met the love of his life through a home teaching assignment. Jim was assigned to home teach Evelyn Johnson, who was the confidant of Eva Lewis. Jim asked Eva out around the Fourth of July and soon discovered that Eva had five children: Brian, Collette, Carl, Afton, and Jacob. Jim would later describe that moment as a profound spiritual experience because the spirit had to keep reassuring him that "it would be okay". Despite the steep learning curve Jim proposed at the Alaska State Fair at the peak of the Ferris Wheel. Jim and Eva were married for time and all eternity on September 30th, 1983 at the Seattle, Washington Temple. Jim and Eva welcomed Stefanie and Rachael just a year after they were married. Jim and Eva welcomed their last son, Spencer in January of 1986. Jim adapted to a full house and fuller responsibilities, and was tempered through experience into fatherhood.

Jim was a profound man of few words. He reveled in good food, honest work, and good company. Jim continued to work for Alyeska Pipeline, a fact that he was extraordinarily proud of, and spent the remainder of his time focused on his family and his various projects. Jim moved his family to North Pole, Alaska and lived across the street from Santa's Workshop. From tickling "six packs" to skating rinks, sporting events to fishing, Jim enveloped himself in his family. Every Saturday morning Jim would reward his kids with doughnuts after the house was cleaned and the garbage was dropped off at the local dump.

Jim always had a few projects up his sleeves to occupy his ever active mind. Most of the projects involved building or maintaining things. Jim was a builder, and enjoyed the creative process and engineering necessary to see a project come together. He would savor watching his boys swing a hammer or use a power tool in the construction of barns, sheds, coops, and shelves.

Ever the jokester, Jim was known for his often dry but intelligent sense of humor. He is remembered for biting the heads off of fish, screaming during polar plunges, pulling his groin water skiing, and generally enjoying the company and antics of his kids. He spent many years volunteering as the scoutmaster for his local boy scout troop, but he always had one of his kids along on the many adventures.

He was generous to a fault, as observed when he stopped for one Alaskan wanderer and her dogs on the Parks Hwy. He proceeded to drop them off at his sister's house, unannounced, because the twins couldn't bear leaving the dogs in the cold. Jim gave abundantly of his resources to family members, and would open his home to those in need without question.

In 2002, Jim moved back to Wasilla, Alaska to help Alyeska manage the geological analysis of the pipeline after an Alaska earthquake but the vitality and adventure remained a constant part of his life. While in Wasilla, Jim watched his children graduate high school, attend college, serve a mission and marry.

Jim retired from Alyeska Pipeline in 2012 after thirty-one years of service and moved to Rexburg, Idaho to enjoy his retirement. In Rexburg, Jim could be found zipping around the mountains in his Razor, visiting the shooting range, playing with and spoiling his grandkids, cruising around the development on his mower, building and improving his estate with countless projects. Jim loved giving his grandkids rides and would often put his grandkids to sleep by mowing the grass with them in his lap. He quietly dedicated his time to his son, Spencer, his grandkids, and local widows. He will be sorely missed.

Public viewing Monday, November 27th from 5:30 - 7:00 PM at Flamm Funeral Home in Rexburg, ID. Memorial service will be held at the Flamm Funeral Home (61 S First E. Rexburg, ID) on Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 AM (MST). The service will also be live streamed at https://my.gather.app/remember/james-roddick. Following the memorial service, there will be a graveside dedication for family at the Sutton Cemetery in Archer, ID.

The family suggests that memorials may be sent to Eva Roddick at 3851 Woodland Drive; Rexburg, ID 83440


Published in Rexburg Standard Journal on November 27, 2023

Published by Flamm Funeral Home, Rexburg, Idaho



go to bottom 
  Post Comment

11/30/23 12:17 PM #1    

Elden Johnson

Sorry to hear of Jims passing.  I worked with him many years and never knew some of the things noted by his obituary.  A humble man of few words.  A good engineer and good person of honesty and integrity.  The kind of person it took to build and operate the Trans Alaska Pipeline for 31 years.  God bless you Jim, you are missed by many.

12/01/23 09:28 AM #2    

Dave Norton

Jim was a wonderful colleague. I worked closely with him over the years, on the BWT Tanks project and in his role as seismic coordinator for TAPS, to name just a couple efforts among many others. He was calm, steady, and extremely competent. He was a key contributor to the success of TAPS over the years and was a reassuring source of technical expertise.  I remember in the 90s he was involved in a rollover accident in Eagle River and his young son Spencer was thrown out the window. They couldn't locate him initially but when they did Spencer was found relatively unscathed. When we discussed the accident at work Jim was typically calm in telling the story but he everntally became understandably emotional recounting the near tragedy. I'm sorry I wasn't able to talk to Jim recently. I was pleasanty surprised from his excellent obiturary to learn so much more about him. I recommend that all my associates consider writing their own obituary now to help their loved ones recount their lives when the time comes.  

12/02/23 03:21 PM #3    

Randy Redmond

Jim touched my life in a very positive manner and was an inspiration and mentor early in my engineering career and helped provide guidance early in the profession. We met at Tectonics Inc., a consulting engineering firm in 1979, where at that time, the Owner, Ed Mac (another former APSC colleague)  brought me on as a structural designer in training. Through Jims support and guidance i gravitated towards mechanical and later piping systems, with experience on the VMT Vapor Recovery Project. Jim was a avid hockey player and had some exuberant and humorous stories to tell, where his character seemed at times quite different on the ice then the office. We would meet again several years later post my bsme and pe licensure, reconnecting at APSC in the 90’s. During this period Jim had several positions from Project Engineer to HoD for Engineering Standards. I had always known Jim to be a reserved, level headed, professional, with a passion for any challenges he had before him. Jim is missed and I will always have fond memories of his life and the value he provided to others. Needless to say, i was surprised to see of his passing earlier then anticipated in life.

12/02/23 05:58 PM #4    

Pat McDevitt

Such sad news, Jim was not only s great engineer but a wonderful person.  I remember many great discussions with him not only about technical issues but many other topics.  Even though I haven't talked with Jim in a number of years, this news hits me hard, rest in peace my friend

12/04/23 07:50 AM #5    

Mike Smulski

Can't add much to what Pat said, except Jim was a fine person who left a positive legacy. Go with God my friend.

12/04/23 08:10 AM #6    

Mike Smulski

One thing I would like to add is "thank you, well done" to the person who wrote Jim's extensive obituary. Glad to hear his life was so interesting and full.

02/16/24 12:03 PM #7    

Greg Kinney

The last several years of Jim's career, his cube and mine were three feet apart in the same quad.  That's when I got to know him, not only as a fine engineer but as a very fine man.

His contributions were many throughout the years, and perhaps most lasting was his work in collaboration with Doug Nyman (about 15 years ago) to reconcile Alyeska's legacy (Nathan Newmark) seismic provisions with those of ASCE 7, which provides the basis for the International Building Code.  By this time, the state of the art in seismic design had caught up with, or surpassed, where Alyeska had been since the 1970s  Through this effort, the need for engineers to learn and execute a unique APSC design approach was eliminated.  Most importantly, the seismic blame game was gone as well.  You know the one: Alyeska's seismic coordinators would be maligned for causing project delay and cost escalation, and then would be subject to replacement by the next structural engineer, waiting his turn to be pilloried for something similar. Jim facilitated a very refreshing change in that regard.

Jim was a family man who was very active in his church and was a lifelong supporter of Boy Scouts, as his obituary noted.  He also cared deeply about doing the right thing for Alyeska, and making things better.  He was also a great practitioner of dry humor.  One that I'll never forget was the day one of our Alyeska presidents retired (well, not by choice), but was allowed to hold court in a going away reception in one of the BP atrium conference rooms where alcohol was served.  In jest, I asked Jim - who was not a drinker - if he was going to stop by.  He stopped for a minute and went quiet, as if in deep thought.  He then said, "I don't think so, but if I did, I would go up to [the outgoing President], shake his hand, and tell him 'Just to let you know, I've survived another one of you!'"  That line's been in my scrapbook ever since.  

Jim did not just survive, though; he was an important contributor throughout his career.  Thank you Jim for all you did.


go to top 
  Post Comment