Leonard Joseph (ROD) Rodowick got his permanent “Wings”, Friday December 16, 2016 is his home in Caliente Nevada. He was born March 2, 1929 in Kenosha Wisconsin to Joseph and Katharine Rodowick.
He never knew a stranger and was known for his humor and hugs.
At the age of 16 he joined the U. S. Army and served in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. During his 28 yr. career he received numerous commendations including 2 Purple Hearts, 5 Bronze Stars, 3 Distinguished flying Crosses, Meritorious Service Medal and multiple other awards.
Aviation was his first love and he maintained the Army’s first helicopters. He was the honor graduate of the Ft. Walters Helicopter Class of 1958-1 and received his commission as a Warrant Officer.
In 1963 he was directly promoted to Captain and retired as a Major.
Highlights of his career included the development and funding of the U.S. Army Test pilot school that standardized training for Maintenance Officers working on turbine engines. He developed procedures and training standards for flying rotor wing aircraft under instrument flight rules. (IFR))
In 1972, President Richard Nixon awarded him the Management Improvement Certificate for the development of turbine engine testing procedures called “TEAK” and “DER” that analyzed turbine engines in the field, procedures taught and used today credited with saving countless lives and monies by preventing in-flight engine failures.
He served as General Westmoreland’s personal pilot and aide.
He was a life member the Caliente VFW 7114, Vietnam Helicopters Pilots Association, Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association, and a member of the Quiet Birdman. He held an Associate Degree from University of Maryland.
Following retirement in 1973, He and his wife Alice relocated to Las Vegas and then Pahrump Nevada. They were involved with construction and land development and were instrumental in the development of the private Calvada Meadows Aero Park. They moved to Caliente NV. in 2008.
He is survived by Alice, his wife of 46 years whom he meet in Viet Nam, sons Scott (Lori) of Elverta CA., Todd of Mathis TX., and Leonard Jr. of Nixa, MO. and numerous grand and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by son, Robert and sister, Wanda Nelson.
The family would like to thank members of the Caliente Methodist Church, VFW 7114 and Aux. and Comfort Hospice Care for their kind and loving support. If desired, the family suggests that you donate to the VFW Post 7114, P. O. Box 415, Caliente, NV. 89008.
Celebration of life will be held Saturday, January. 28, 2017 at the Caliente VFW Post, 391 Dixon ST., from 3 to 5 p.m. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Wabaunsee Co. Kansas at a later date. Online condolences can be made at www.snmortuary.com.