- 40 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 3, 1973
- Date of passing: May 17, 2014
|Let the memory of Rodney be with us forever|
"I too cannot believe it has been a year. I cannot tell you how much you impacted many of the guys at the "Philly Crew!" The guys have recently placed pictures on facebook of one of the many sailboat trips you took the boys on. You are truly missed Rod. Pray for your family that was left behind. May God watch over them and bless them."
"Rod, I can't believe a year has passed. You are still in my thoughts and prayers. None of it makes sense to me still but I know that you are in are sitting in glory with our Father, beyond all the pain and sadness. I hope someday to understand the truth in your passing and I pray that light will be shined upon it."
"Rod was one a role model to my sons while at Philadelphia Church. He was always there for them no matter the reason. He was a beautiful person and a blessing to many. May God give to u the family all the grace and blessings that He has to offer. He WILL be missed by many.
God bless you all!"
"In Loving Memory of Rodney Louis Mansfield
It has been three weeks since we lost Rod on May 17, 2014.
This memorial has been a while in coming. Compiling the photos and special stories of Rod’s life has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. Losing Rod left an enormous void in our lives and it has been very difficult to accept that he is really gone.
Rod was a son, an uncle, a best friend and a brother for nearly 41 years. He touched the lives of so many people, like a ray of sun on a stormy day.
There could be a book written of all the memories over the years, growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, living out in the country near Mt. Vernon, Washington and later, in the boonies of Eastern Washington.
There are memories of important childhood pursuits like climbing trees, damming up the creek with old rotten logs, scaring mom half to death, putting frog eggs in each other’s boots, forgetting to remove the snakes and frogs from our pockets before mom did the laundry, or catching frogs and playing in the swamp behind the house.
Memories of two little boys at the back door covered with swamp mud from head to toe, being told by a surprised mother to strip down to be hosed off before being let into the house.
There were fun times making (frequently) our favorite toffee bar recipe with mom. You know, not much of the dough made it to the cookie sheet! Painting mom’s face with her makeup to look like a wild-eyed Indian, or running thru the house after a bath, with mom in hot pursuit, threatening to pinch our “cute” little butts. The times we had to wait for dad to finish playing with our Christmas legos before we could have a turn. Memories of making mom and dad breakfast in bed, serving them our specialty of charcoal eggs and toast.
Rod loved being in God’s creation. As little boys we would spend hours at the beach with mom, collecting rocks and playing in the tide pools, catching hermit crabs and playing with the other myriad little creatures that the pools hold. There were picnics at Sunset beach in Anacortes, canoeing at Baker Lake or Lake McMurray, smelt fishing with dad in the dark at the LaConner Marina on the Swinomish channel.
He was quite the rock hound as well and always had a couple pockets full of priceless geological treasures. The driveway could have been graveled with all the rocks that got collected.
There was dirt bike riding on logging roads in Eastern Washington and scaring the little girl we grew up with half out of her wits. We found some kind of perverse humor in making our little surrogate sister, Shayla, beg for us to slow down.
In the teen years, Rod started playing the guitar and singing. Of course, he was pretty shy about it in the beginning but he got over that. Later on, brother got inspired to learn to play too. Many, many hours were spent playing music together. Later, Rod went on to become the worship leader at a couple of the churches he went to. He loved music.
There were road trips to Santa Maria, CA to visit Grandma and the relatives and 4-wheelin’ on the sand dunes in the early 90’s with his little tiny Plymouth Champ. Late night journeys to Mt. Vernon, Washington to surprise mom before she moved.
On long road trips, Rod loved to wait until you were deep in thought and then reach over, while you weren’t looking, and grab your leg, slam on the brakes, and scream all at the same time. It would scare the holy bejeebers out of a person!
Rod was such a big dreamer. He brought a shiny red Porsche 944 home so mom could have her “midlife crisis” in style. Of course, he had to test the outer limits of German engineered performance to be sure it was suitable for mom.
He was the one who started the sailboat live-aboard adventure and sailing all over Admiralty Inlet and the San Juan Islands. Rod loved being out on the water, watching the sunset, sailing under a full moon or catching and cooking his favorite – crab! Those years have left us with some of our most cherished memories.
Rod also loved photography. He took pictures by the thousands. He took pictures of the mountains, the San Juan Islands, sunsets, full moon nights, pictures of himself jumping sand dunes on his quad, pictures of his various trucks on steep mountainsides, close-ups of his hairy legs,
pretty flowers and plants, and of course, pictures of Emma and the boys.
We can't forget about the quads. He loved riding 4-wheelers. There was something about the mixture of gasoline, dirt and knobby tires that transformed Rod from the quiet, shy man at a gathering, into a maniacal, gravity-defying, speed demon. He liked to go so fast that those riding with him would lose his track because he was so far ahead that even his dust had settled.
Rod loved children, it didn't matter if they were babies or teenagers. While living in Seattle he committed large amounts of his time and resources to form a youth center for troubled kids who were on the street and had nowhere to go.
He loved his stepchildren Cody and Chase, he loved his nieces and nephews, he loved working with the foster kids at the home his father-in-law, Walter, managed, and he dearly loved his adopted daughter Emma. Rod thought the world of Emma. She was very, very special to him. I found a song in the bottom of Rod’s guitar case. It was an old Kenny Loggins song that he had re-written, he titled it “Emma’s Song”.
It is difficult to comprehend the overwhelming sorrow and hopelessness that must have been in Rod’s heart at that last moment for him to have felt that Cody, Chase, Emma and the rest of us would be better off without him.
In the coming weeks, months and years, we ask that you hold the memory of Rod in your hearts. Cherish the precious memories of the good man we lost and ask God to give us the strength to carry the burden of grief. Our family continues to cherish Emma and the boys, and will try to preserve the legacy of love and commitment that Rod felt.
The gaping hole that has been left in our lives by this loss will not soon be filled. We will keep the precious memories of Rod alive. Memories of the caring, generous, adventuresome and sometimes zany, (woohoo!) man we all knew.
We loved you Rod and will miss you terribly! It will be hard to ever look at a sailboat, island sunset, 4-wheeler, logging road, sand dune, guitar, pretty flower or bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade the same way again.
May you rest in peace."
"We were so sorry to hear of Rod's death. We knew him from Philadelphia Church in Seattle and he was such a nice guy! Keeping his family in our prayers. Jeff and Anika Henry"
"Rod has been a close family friend for such a very long time…so many shared experiences it’s hard to know how to recount them all. His love of the outdoors has been common ground with our family for a good many years. He and our son, Michael, have camped, hiked, sailed, fished, and 4-wheeled together over the span of the last twenty years. It’s hard to imagine that Rod is not here anticipating their next great adventure together. The latest of these was their shared love of going to the sand dunes (wherever they could find them) and riding their quads. Rod couldn’t get enough of tearing up those dunes with his good friend and it took the two of them to Oregon, Idaho and California. Rod also had lots of talent…last summer, he spent several weeks working on the remodel of Michael and Amanda’s home –it was a labor of love attested to by the skilled craftsmanship that marked his work. Rod had a MacGyver kind of mind and put his skills to good use whether it was in helping a friend or building a home for his family. He was always coming up with creative ways of getting things done and we were often amazed at what he was able to do. Most of all, we will remember Rod for his big heart, sharp wit and hearty laugh – our whole family will miss him a great deal."
"So saddened by this news...remembering Rod's generosity, his voice, his warm presence...with love and prayers for his family as they grieve such a loss, and with hope for a blessed reunion when tears will be wiped away from all faces, and when death will be swallowed up in victory..."
"One more memory: When it was my son Joel's birthday, I sent Rod and Justin into town and asked them to get a new shirt and a tie for Joel's gift. Hours later, they returned with the gift already wrapped, and told me they couldn't find a shirt, so they got pants instead. I thought that was probably okay… but when he opened the gift, my tall, skinny son found a very loud "Mickey Mouse" tie and new jeans–length 28 inches, waist about 60". Justin and Rod just looked completely straight-faced and innocent, shrugged and said, "We didn't know his size!""
"Since hearing about his death, so many memories have been stirred again. Rod had lived with us for a couple of years in the '90s, in a chapter that was an intense mix of very happy and very sad events–like all of life is. Sad, because our kids were in a tragic car accident, and although the memories of that time are too painful to write about, Rod was with us through it all– supportive, helpful during that whole difficult time. But there were a lot of fun and crazy memories too...Once, I'd made a big, deliciousThanksgiving dinner, and afterwards Rod and our boys (Joel and Justin) stuffed cushions into their shirts to make big bellies and sat around the table groaning as though they'd eaten too much (which they had!) Rod himself liked to cook, and was good at it. Sometimes he did me a great favor by making dinner. (I esp remember the lemon bars. And the disastrous kitchen while he worked, which I should not have reprimanded him about. *sigh*) Of course a significant memory was Rod singing and playing his guitar. He loved music and was so good at it! Having reconnected via FB, we were very glad to know where he was, to hear about his new family, and to hear the reports of the life he was so happy with. His excitement over the adoption of little Emma was a clear joy. News of Rod's death has been devastating. We are stunned.There are so many things we don't understand... but I believe God brought him into our lives for a reason, and I'm grateful for that time."
"Rod, you were a man with a huge heart. I remember how much you reached out to me and my family. I remember how much you loved my brother and took him under your wing. I remember how supportive you were of me when I was encountering some of the roughest times in my life. You came to me, you listened, you never judged.
And I remember some of the craziest of times with you. I loved how you were a free bird and had no inhibitions... like the time we went flying down the highway along the river in your convertible with tunes ablazin' and hair flying (ok, mine, not yours) at speeds I shall not mention.
I loved how you would laugh at things and make me laugh... your chuckle was contagious.
I also love how today you continued your huge heart and helped so many young children. You so clearly cared so deeply for them and changed many lives. Thank you for that.
Your footprints will never fade, will never be forgotten. From 20 years ago (when I met you) to today, you have left great impressions of someone who generously gave and loved to have fun, you will truly be missed. There is no shadow of a doubt that you have touched MANY hearts throughout your life and we surely lost "a great one" on May 17, 2014. Rest In Peace, my friend, until we meet again..."
"I knew Rod and spent most I knew Rod and spent most of the 1990's hanging out with him. I met him in the winter of 93'/94'. We quickly became friends as he extended a warm hand of friendship to me and my newly relocated family to the Pacific Northwest. He was always up for adventure! Wether it was rafting down the river, or tubing down a snowy hillside, he knew how and where to have fun. I recall him driving through the Stevens County countryside on a full moonlit night, in the treacherous snow......with the lights off, just to experience the beauty and the thrill. Or, the time when, driving back from Spokane from a day of fun in the city, he slammed on the breaks and screamed at the top of his lungs right in the middle of the highway just to get a good laugh as we were jarred awake from our afternoon slumber. We all had a good laugh. Rod was one of the hardest working guys I knew. His example taught me to work hard but never stop loving the simple joys of life! There were so many great moments of laughter and joy, but the greatest memory I have of Rod, was his love for Jesus. He shared his gift of music with us and lead many Sunday morning services in praise to our God. He taught how to worship well, and lead the congregation in song and music. The songs he taught me, I still sing today. A couple of summers ago my wife and I had the opportunity to reconnect with Rod and meet his wife Sarah. It was so encouraging to see the woman and the beautiful family God had blessed him with after so many years of hoping and praying. Rod was truly a gifted and blessed man. He loved and touched so many, he will be greatly missed."
Have a suggestion for us?