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John Rodgers

Lead Summary

Private family services for John C. Rodgers, age 68, of Fairmont, Minnesota, will be held at a later date. John passed away from metastatic prostate cancer on Thursday, May 18, 2023. He was surrounded by his loving family at his home in Fairmont. Memorials collected will be donated to the Lutz Cancer Center in Fairmont for the garden. John and Mary spent hours enjoying this thoughtful addition to the treatment center and would like to help contribute to the continuation of the joy it brought to them both. The Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.
John Calvin Rodgers was born on June 6, 1954, in Sac City, Iowa. He was the beloved son of Everett and Ruth (Decker) Rodgers. John graduated from Luverne High School in 1972, where he was an all-state baseball player for the Luverne Cardinals. He played French horn in the high school band, where he met Mary VandenHoek, the love of his life. He furthered his education at Augustana College where he also played baseball at the collegiate level. John completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then completed pre-requisite work for the veterinarian program at the University of Minnesota ̶ Morris. He obtained his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 1983. Later in life, he received his master’s degree in beef cattle reproduction from the University of Minnesota. John was an enthusiastic lifelong learner and avid reader.
On August 9, 1975, John was united in marriage to Mary at the United Methodist Church in Luverne. They had four daughters: Molly, Ingrid, Sarah and Emily. The couple spent most of their married life in Fairmont. John and Mary were blessed to have over 47 years together. They spent their favorite moments drinking coffee, bird watching, planting flowers, mowing the lawn, reading up on horticulture and native plants, watching sunsets, enjoying happy hour, pontoon cruises, trips to the cabin on Roy Lake and traveling to visit children and grandchildren.
John worked as a large animal veterinarian at the Fairmont Veterinary Clinic for 13 years, where he enjoyed caring for local farms. He then became a beef cattle reproductionist and consultant with Pfizer Animal Health. This gave him and Mary the opportunity to travel together.
He loved being outside; he often stated that there was “no bad weather, just bad gear.”  With his young family, he enjoyed many hours on Leech Lake and the Missouri River walleye fishing, tent camping adventures and biking trips with six bikes on top of the suburban and a boat behind. Later he trained and ran marathons and was able to complete a full marathon with each daughter.  He even participated in an Ironman Triathlon during his cancer treatment. He also completed several triathlons with his daughters and sons-in-law. He cherished annual turkey hunting trips to Nebraska with his good friend, Dennis Katzer, where he enjoyed being close to nature on the prairie. Annual summer trips to Grandview Lodge were spent fishing with grandchildren, large family dinners, and nightly sunset boat rides. He was always up for an adventure with his sons-in-law including summer and winter trips in the BWCA, hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail and watching baseball games to cheer on the Minnesota Twins. He was an aspiring cowboy at heart, riding horses with the girls and cattle drives out west. Most recently he found joy in water aerobics at the Fairmont Aquatic park and every morning and night like clockwork he would take his dog on a 0.5 mile walk.
Left to cherish his memory include his beautiful wife, Mary Rodgers; daughters Molly (Phil) Brummond, Ingrid (Darin) Bjerknes, Sarah (Jacob) Clements, and Emily (Joseph) Trindal; grandchildren (nicknames given by their granddad) Ava "Aviator" (11) and Brynlee "Brynzilator" (8) Brummond, Capri "Caprister" (12) and Beckham "Beckabooster" (11) Bjerknes, Layla "Layla Louster" (7), Calvin "Calvinator" (5), and Betsy "Betsyboo" (2) Clements, and Elenor "Ellie-ooper" (3) and identical twin girls, Hazel "Hazy-Daisy" (1), and Aila "Aila-Bella" (1) Trindal; sister Julie (Scott) Rosin; mother-in-law Mildred VandenHoek; black lab companion and friend Jack Rodgers; and other relatives and friends.
Along with his parents Everett and Ruth Rodgers, John was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Calvin VandenHoek; brothers-in-law Bob VandenHoek, Jon VandenHoek, and Terry Ohlsen; and sister-in-law Julie Ohlsen.
He will be cherished in the hearts of his loved ones.

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