Paul Rodecap, of Cambridge, formerly of Mora, passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at the Cambridge Medical Center. He was 95 years old.
A Gathering of Family & Friends will be held at a future date
Memorials are preferred to Mora Dollars for Scholars & the Mora United Methodist Church
Paul Estel Rodecap, formerly of Mora, MN, passed away from Covid-19 on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at the Cambridge Medical Center. He was an active 95-year-old until contracting the virus.
Paul was born to John and Minnie (Shaffer) Rodecap on August 23, 1925, at home in Cumberland, Maryland, where he also spent his childhood. After graduating in 1943 from Ft. Hill High School in Cumberland, he volunteered in the U.S. Army to serve his country during WWII. Paul was active in the European war effort for 20 months.
After the war, Paul attended Western Kentucky University School of Business in Bowling Green, Kentucky, under the G.I. bill. While attending school he met the love of his life, Evelyn J. Wilson, a resident of Bowling Green. They were married on August 15, 1947. Paul and Evelyn were blessed with two children, Paula and Daniel.
After graduating in 1949 with a B.S. degree in Commerce, Paul joined the education staff at Jackson Business University in Jackson, Michigan for two years. Paul then secured a position with Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Akron, Ohio. Two years later Paul received a promotional transfer to the new Gaseous Diffusion Plant being built in Piketon, Ohio. Goodyear Atomic Corp was chosen to be the Operating Contractor. Paul was selected as a key member of the “start-up” team and remained with Goodyear for eleven years. During this time the Rodecaps lived in Chillicothe and Waverly, Ohio. In 1962 the family moved to Paul’s hometown where he served as Comptroller for the City of Cumberland, population of 33,000.
In 1966 Paul began his long career in hospital finance, serving as Vice President/Director of Finance in hospitals in Cumberland, MD; Cooperstown, NY; Chillicothe, OH; Oneonta, NY; Golden Valley, MN, and ultimately, Mora, MN. During his hospital service he obtained “Fellow” status in the Health Care Financial Management Assn. With over 450 members he became one of only 13 with the title “Fellow”. He was subsequently presented the “William G. Follmer” merit award for outstanding service. Working in hospitals was a good fit for Paul because he loved people and he was a competent and compassionate leader.
Living in Mora allowed Paul and Evelyn to be close to their four grandchildren. They loved going to all of their school events, athletic games, dance recitals and theater productions. While in Mora the Rodecaps were active in the Mora United Methodist Church, singing on the Praise Team and serving on many church committees. Paul also served as a volunteer for the Mora Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels. He was a charter member of the Mora Dollars for Scholars, Board Member of Living Solutions (Vasa House), member of Seven County Sr. Federation, and American Legion Post #201.
Like many other “hardy” Minnesotans Paul and Evelyn moved to sunny south Florida after Paul retired from Kanabec Hospital, only to return a few years later due to health concerns.
After Evie’s death in 2010 Paul made a new friend with whom he travelled and enjoyed many cultural and athletic activities for more than eight years. During that time Paul lived in White Bear Lake, MN., where he was a devout member of the White Bear United Methodist Church and a tenor in the Silver Harmony Singers. He moved to Grace Pointe Crossing Cambridge, MN last fall.
During his younger years, Paul enjoyed square dancing, softball, bowling, and golf. He also loved fishing, playing cards, and reading. He was also an avid sports fan, especially baseball. He even watched this year’s Super Bowl from his ICU hospital bed. Paul remained active in his mature years, even travelling to visit his grandchildren in Texas and Costa Rica when he was 94 years old.
Paul loved his wonderful wife Evelyn “Evie” of 63 years and considered her his best friend. Without her support and love he felt he would have been nothing. He also loved the Lord, his children, grandchildren, exchange students, and nieces and nephews. He adored his great-grandchildren. Paul was a very special man, kind and thoughtful. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. He will be truly missed.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; wife Evelyn; brother Raymond Rodecap; and sister Arlean Sansom.
Paul is survived by his children, Paula Vanecek (Victor) of Mora and Daniel Rodecap of Rush City; grandchildren, Aaron Vanecek (Rebeca) of Turrialba, Costa Rica, Andrew Vanecek (Madeleine) of Varnamo, Sweden, Valerie Cavanagh (Daniel) of Arlington, Texas, Alicia Jones of Alaska; great grandchildren, Nevaeh Becker, Parker, Ava and Ella Jones, Calvin, Josephine and Eleanor Cavanagh, Mackenzie and Veikko Vanecek and Saga and Vilgot Vanecek.
Paul survived World War II, 31 years after a quintuple heart bypass surgery, three cancers, two car crashes and “countless years of Minnesota sports futility.” In the end it was Covid-19 that took him home. To honor Paul the family requests that everyone wear proper masks, social distance and get vaccinated. Paul said at the end, “This is a terrible disease and I don’t want anyone else to get it.”