Dr. John Daniel (Dan) Rodkey, DDS passed to eternal life on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at Franciscan Hospital East of metastatic cancer. Dan was born on May 8, 1938 in Burlington, IN to Fred and Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Rodkey. He grew up there on a farm where he said he discovered his dental talent early on by drilling holes in wood and filling them up with putty.
He is survived by his wife, Diane Misch-Rodkey, with whom he shares two children: Sister Maria Teresita (Alaina) Rodkey of Nashville, TN and Johanna Rodkey of West Lafayette, IN. He is also survived by a sister, LaDene Sheagley and three children from a previous marriage: Danette Markovich; Michele Allison; and Marc Rodkey.
Dan will be remembered by many for the dental care he provided. He was inspired to pursue dentistry by the late Dr. Price, who was his dentist as a child, and with whom he worked early in his dental career. He provided dental care to soldiers as an Officer in the Army during the post-Korean War period and then settled in the Greater Lafayette area, where he served his community for more than 55 years as a practicing dentist. He was greatly devoted to the dental profession and even more to his patients, a devotion that led him to continue providing care to his greatest capacity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and after his diagnosis of cancer in October 2020. The name of his dental practice was Gentle Dental Care, and his motto was always “We cater to cowards.”
As a young adult, Dan was an active participant in the Lafayette Civic Theater, often playing a memorable “character role.” He carried on his acting at home by reading and telling stories to his children with great expression while using “all the voices.” He knew the importance of play in nature for children and was known to send his children “tracking” him in the snow in the woods, creating trails complete with challenging obstacles, or racing him up a steep ravine. Wherever he was, fun was never far behind for his children. Dan was also a life-time member of the Tippecanoe Historical Association and a regular visitor to historical sites around the State of Indiana.
Dan was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Parish in West Lafayette, IN. A socially-distanced funeral Mass will be held on Saturday February 27 at Blessed Sacrament Parish in West Lafayette, IN at 11:00 AM EST, with Father Tom McDermott officiating. Visitation will precede the Mass beginning at 10:00 AM.
To honor Dan’s memory, flowers may be sent to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 2224 Sacramento Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47906 to be shared at time of the funeral Mass or we welcome donations in memory of Dan to The Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia in Nashville, TN, where his daughter, Sister Maria Teresita (Alaina), currently resides. Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery following the funeral Mass. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home of Lafayette is honored to serve the Rodkey family. Please leave memories and condolences at www.hangroeberfuneralhome.com
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