Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Lowell 'L.J.' Roderick

BESSEMER, Mich. - Lowell J. "L.J., Papa, Mr. R., Papa R." Roderick, 69, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at home, surrounded by his greatest love of all, family.

He was born on April 6, 1951, at the Divine Infant Hospital in Wakefield, to Genevieve "Gena" (Ozzello) and Lowell C. "Rod" Roderick, and was raised in Wakefield. At a young age, he worked at his family-owned business, Lakeview Supper and Bowling Club.

After graduating high school, he worked at various jobs including White Pine Copper Mine, mines in Virginia, Minnesota, his father's bar, "Rod's Bar," in McKinley, Minnesota, and Montgomery Wards in Duluth, Minnesota.

In 1973, he moved back to his hometown and married the love of his life, Jeanne Miskovich in 1975.

In Wakefield, he worked at the G.A.R.C. Center and was a teacher, a teacher's aide and bus driver spreading his love and compassion for children at Head Start for 11 years.

L.J. attended Gogebic Community College earning his associate degrees in psychology and applied science. He also earned an associate degree in childhood development from Bank Street College. He then went back to college to earn his bachelor's degree in music education, graduating in 1994.

After completing his degree, L.J. worked at the Wakefield and Bessemer schools for more than 20 years teaching "his kids" his passion and love for music, retiring in 2016.

Throughout his life, he was always playing in a band. He taught himself guitar at the age of six. He was in countless bands and made many close friends gigging, jamming, pickin' and making music.

L.J. was an ear to listen, a soft shoulder to cry on and a hug to comfort when in need. He was selfless and humble and would help anyone who needed it. He was a leader and a teacher, a kind and loving man, showing the world the importance of respect, honesty and integrity. His smile and his laugh were intoxicating and his voice was incomparable. He touched many hearts singing, playing and teaching music. He will be forever loved and missed by so many, and he always hoped his love for music, laughter, kindness and love would live on in all the people he has had the pleasure of knowing and teaching.

L.J. is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Jeanne (Miskovich) Roderick; two children, Lucas Roderick (Jasmine Thiede) and Layla Roderick (Ron Niemi); three grandchildren, Imajica Lemerond, Jenna Saari and Jay Saari Jr .; siblings, Lucretia "Chrissy" Lynch, Thomas (Cindy) Przybysz and Andrea (Gilbert) Roland; his mother-in-law, Marcella Miskovich; two brothers-in-law, George (Donna) Miskovich and Ted (Brenda) Miskovich; his uncle and aunt, John P. "Chummy" and Judy Ozzello; his forever son-in-law, Jay Saari Sr .; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and students.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, George Miskovich; and his brother-in-law, Louis "Lou" Miskovich.

"May you stay, Forever Young" – Bob Dylan

A memorial service will be held this summer.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with L.J.'s wishes.