Obituary of Rodney Philip Michelanko
Recently, friends sent me and Parker a card that said, “Words can’t always say what the heart wishes they could.” Today, we will try….. Rod was an adoring, proud father, a loving spouse, son, brother and a dependable, loyal friend. He loved to work; from the time he was very young, his family would hear “Let me carry that, let me dig the garden, let me fix it, I can do it.” Rod loved to tinker and he was resourceful – creating parts, finding other ways to solve the problem. Rod was happy to share his knowledge – he patiently taught Parker some necessary how-to’s: how to install a dishwasher, change bathroom taps, fix squeaky doors, clean the barbeque; how to change oil, repair a carburetor, replace brakes and how to sew his fuzzy dice back together so he could hang them in his car, just to name a few. Rod was a big man with a big, booming voice. We would often hear him singing and making up the lyrics as he went along – much to our delight. No one he loved was ever short on big hugs and kisses. Rod valued his friendships and one of his favourite ways to spend an evening was outside, with a big oil-drum fire, good friends, a dog or two and some adult beverages. He was kind and had such a big heart. He travelled a lot for work and wouldn’t think of driving by someone with car trouble or in need of a ride. If you ever wondered which of your friends would get out of bed in the middle of the night to help you when you needed them – Rod was your guy. Many years back, we were driving on Highway 99 at night, in a terrible storm, and Rod suddenly said, “Mom, pull over – there’s a lady standing on the side of the highway.” I pulled over and he ran back a few hundred feet and returned with a soaked-to-the-skin middle-aged woman and her suitcase. She was headed into Vancouver for a church convention and somehow got separated from her Bible group, so decided to walk. Rod had worried she’d be afraid to come back to the car with him and she explained that she wasn’t afraid, because she knew God would send someone for her. And He did. In his early 20’s Rod felt it was time for a change and looked into BCIT and the Trades. Rod didn’t know what a millwright did, exactly, but he did his research and decided it looked like a good fit. Rod was very proud to be a millwright and a union member. He worked on some great projects and made life-long friends. Life was tough for Rod this last few years; he did the best he could to overcome the difficulties he faced. Rod was deeply loved and is deeply mourned. With unspeakable grief, we say goodbye. It was a heart-wrenching decision, but the family has decided to postpone Rod’s Celebration of Life. Covid19 has made it impossible to gather in the way friends and family are meant to in times of grief. We know that Rod would want his friends “looked after” properly. He would want them to be welcomed to gather, with some good food, drinks and music. He would want people to share handshakes, hugs and stories. And so do we…… When it is safe to do so, we will arrange a Celebration of Life to honour our beloved Rod. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favourite charity or just think of Rod the next time you do someone a kindness.
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