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Redbird legacy: Brothers follow in father’s ISU footsteps

Roderick sons on the Quad

The Pantagraph photographed the Roderick sons on the Quad in 1962. They are, from left, Ron, Byron, George and Terry.

Terry Roderick ’66 had the opportunity to attend Illinois State at the same time as his brothers. Their journey to the University began when their father enrolled in the 1920s.

“He attended three years and was hired to teach without a degree due to a shortage of teachers,” Terry said in remembering his dad, Kenneth ’69. He taught elementary school and served as a principal.

Kenneth and his wife, Lois, raised seven children on a farm near Danville. “It was his goal to make sure we all got advanced degrees,” Terry said. His three sisters chose nursing. Terry and his brothers followed their dad to ISU.

The oldest son, Ron ’58, M.S. ’62, majored in music education and taught at the high school level for three years before returning for graduate classes. He worked as a dorm director while studying counselor education. He led financial aid at Michigan State University before losing his life in a scuba diving accident.

Byron ’63 also studied music education, completed a master’s elsewhere and taught at the high school level before forming his own business, Skyworks, and venturing into real estate in Denver. He and his wife, Rita, enjoy retirement in Colorado.

George ’64 was an elementary education major who completed a superintendent’s degree elsewhere. He was a teacher, school administrator and superintendent for years before losing his battle against cancer.

Terry studied music education, finished a master’s and taught for 18 years as a band director at three Illinois schools. He also worked as a principal and superintendent before retiring and moving with his wife, Dee, to Kissimmee, Florida.

“After all of his children received their degrees and he retired, dad returned to ISU to fulfill his dream. He lived on campus and received his degree in elementary education in 1969,” Terry said. The entire family attended his commencement ceremony.

The memory is sweet, as both parents are now deceased. It is one of many moments Terry continues to treasure about the University that significantly shaped his family. “We all credit our success in life to the wonderful education we received at ISNU.”

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