Obituary: Carl 'Rodney' Lodmell


Carl “Rodney” Lodmell of Gilbert, Ariz., formerly of Blue Grass, age 92, passed away at his home on Monday, July 17, 2023, with his wife and son by his side.

Rodney was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1931, in Sioux Falls, S.D., to Carl and Mildred (Clark) Lodmell. After graduating from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, Rodney enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served during the Korean War as a radar operator in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Turkey Hill/Scott AFB, Belleville, Ill., from 1951-1955. In Belleville he met the love of his life, Shirley Ann Hoernis, where they married on Dec. 18, 1954.

After Rodney’s honorable discharge from the Air Force, the couple made their home in Sioux Falls, where Rodney owned and operated a full-service Conoco station before deciding to enroll in Stewart’s School of Hairstyling. He advanced from stylist and salon manager to a vice president of Stewart’s School of Hairstyling in Davenport. In 1979, they relocated to Phoenix, Ariz., where Rodney opened his own chain of salons, Headlines by Rodney. After retirement, they moved to Gilbert, where Rodney pursued his passions of travelling to exotic places, vegetable gardening and caring for a menagerie of animals in his backyard and pond. Over the years he had a pair of swans, several pair of exotic ducks, finch, doves, pheasants, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, a pygmy goat, cats and their beloved dog, Shadow. Rodney had a true zest for life and found great enjoyment in gardening, eating the fruit of his labor and watching and interacting with his animal friends. Rodney’s claim to fame is his appearance as an extra in the Cinerama film “How the West Was Won,” a portion of which was filmed in Rapid City, S.D., in 1962, where the family was living at the time.

Left to fondly remember him are his loving wife of 68 years, Shirley; daughters, Sherry (Ray) Peters of Park View; Robin (Bill) Craig of Holland, Mich.; Kathy (Shane) Pearson of Cedar Falls; son, Tracy (Mea Abraham) Lodmell of Phoenix; a very special “adopted” daughter, Debbie Snyder and her dog, Sparkle; grandchildren, Joshua Peters, Eric Peters, Miranda Petersen, Colin Craig, Nicola Faires, Carly Engels, Evan Schwarz, Spencer Abraham-Lodmell, Tyler Abraham-Lodmell; 20 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

Preceding him in death are his parents, his sister, Mildred “Lorraine” Lodmell, an infant son, Carl Ricky Lodmell, and an infant grandson, Jesse Ray Peters.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 739 W. Erie St., Chandler, AZ 85224. The service was live-streamed on YouTube ( A 30-minute Military Funeral Honors ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85024, where he was laid to rest.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals.


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