Dr. James Evan Roderick, Jr., M.D., born February 18, 1923 in Wetmore, Kansas, died peacefully with integrity at his home on Monday, September 10, 2012. He lived a life marked by a generous commitment to his profession, community, faith and family. Dr. Roderick was a resident of Salina, Kansas since 1955, and was the beloved husband to Nancy A. Roderick (d.) his wife of 62 years who preceded him in death in 2009. He was the father to five adoring children, Rees Roderick Olander, David E. Roderick (d.), John T. Roderick, Melinda M. Roderick and Richard A. Roderick. He leaves behind 12 loving grandchildren Emerson Olander, Evan Olander, Chase Roderick, Alexandra Roderick-McWhirter, Natalie Roderick, Melivier M. Besnoin, Roderick D. Besnoin, Remington J. Besnoin, Rachel Rae Roderick, James E. Roderick III, Harrison Roderick, Grafton Roderick, two great-grandchildren Charlotte and Mae Olander, and daughters-in-law Donna Roderick, Sandra Roderick, Lany Roderick and Stephanie Roderick, as well as son-in-law Wayne Olander. His sister Ina Katherine Lasley-Wells of San Antonio, Texas survives him; he was uncle to her children, nephews Jim Lasley, David Lasley (d.), and Rod Lasley, and niece Tina Lasley-Wright. Sister-in-law Mary Patricia Tomlinson-Roth lives in Lawrence, Kansas; he was uncle to her children Victor and Andy Lovan.
The son of Marsena and James E. Roderick, Jim was raised during the Great Depression in Wetmore, Kansas and graduated first in his class from Wetmore High School in 1941, he graduated Pre-Med at the University of Kansas in 1945 where he was a Summerfield Scholar, and at the direction of the U.S. Army studied for two semesters at the Yale School of Medicine during World War II before graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1949. At KU he was a loyal and passionate member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a guard (#16) on the 1943 Ever-Victorious Big 6 Championship Jayhawk Basketball team. He was married to Nancy A. Tomlinson (born in Independence, Kansas, and resided in Fort Worth, Texas) at the Christ Episcopal Church in Greenwich, Connecticut shortly after completing medical school. After a one-year medical internship at KU Med in Kansas City in 1950 and while completing a four-year Urology residency in Kansas City, Dr. Roderick served our country in United States Eighth Army, 25th Medical Evacuation Hospital during the Korean Conflict between 1952-53; he proudly received an honorable discharge upon completion of his military service.
Jim and wife Nancy moved to Salina in 1955 where he founded Salina Urology Associates, P.A., practicing urology for 39 years. Dr. Roderick was twice chairman of Kansas Blue Shield & Blue Cross for which he served 10 years as a board member. He also served as a member of the South Central Section Urology Board of Directors for four years, the Saline County Medical Society as chairman of the board, and the Salina Hospital Foundation board of directors for 10 years. He also served as chief of staff of both of the community’s hospitals, Asbury and St. John’s. Dr. Roderick held so many of his office staff, nurses and other members of the Salina medical community in the highest regard, and attributed much of his success to their collaboration, he would want them all to know how deeply he cherished those relationships. He was also frequently the recipient of unannounced social visits by numerous patients to his residence while practicing and even long after his retirement; his home was always welcoming.
Beyond his vocation, Dr. Roderick served the community as chairman of the Salina Chamber of Commerce, and on its’ board of directors for four years. He also served on the board of directors of Planter’s Bank, later Bank IV, for 20 years. Many in Salina, however, will best remember Dr. Roderick for his quick wit, ever-positive outlook, and his willingness to lend assistance. Whether as coach for the “Terrible Pinkies” in his son’s youth church basketball league, as team doctor for the Salina High Mustangs or just as “Doc Roderick”, whose front door was always open in lieu of a trip to the emergency room, he routinely dispensed medical advise, and an occasional procedure to local kids, friends and neighbors alike. Jim was a life-long fiscal conservative and staunch supporter of the Republican party, but most of all his Christian faith guided him without distraction, and those beliefs enriched his enjoyment of life. He and his wife were dedicated parishioners of Christ Episcopal Cathedral in Salina, actively involved in supporting the church for over 50 years where his inurnment will take place in the cathedral’s columbarium.
Funeral and memorial church services will be held at Christ Episcopal Cathedral in Salina at 1:30pm Friday, September 28, 2012. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in memory of Dr. James E. Roderick to the Prostate Cancer Foundation below or the University of Kansas Alpha Nu Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at http://alphanubeta.com/