SYRACUSE - Morgan P. Roderick, of The Valley, Syracuse, passed away suddenly on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, while visiting his daughter in Richmond, Va. He was 86.
Morgan, "Rod" as his friends and family called him, spent many hours of his youth playing ball at many of the area ball fields around Syracuse, and he loved to swim anywhere he could. Beside his ball glove, his prized possession was his bicycle, which took him to the hills of LaFayette to pick apples all day, or to Drumlins to caddie as many rounds as he could to earn money.
In the summer of 1942, at age 16, Morgan's love of the outdoors led him and three friends by single-speed bikes to the Adirondack Mountains, where they intended to spend the summer camping at Eighth Lake and working at odd jobs before returning to Syracuse for school.
Morgan attended OVA, but at age 17, joined the Navy during World War II after Pearl Harbor, and volunteered for the Submarine Service. His submarine, the USS Haddo, served on patrol in the Pacific and was a tender to the Missouri during the signing of the Articles of Surrender in Tokyo Bay, which ended the war with Japan.
He returned home to Syracuse after the war, finished high school at Central Tech and, in 1951, graduated from New York State Ranger School in Wanakena. In 1958, he was appointed from the civil service exam list to the position of forest ranger in the Adirondack Mountains in Raquette Lake.
In 1959, he met Judy Ann Keipper, of Williamsville, in Raquette Lake, while she was working as a waterfont counselor at the Raquette Lake Girls Camp. They married in January of 1960 in Williamsville and lived in Raquette Lake until 1964. During that time, their son Eric and daughter Lynn were born.
In 1964, Morgan accepted the position of District Forest Ranger for St. Lawrence County, working out of the Canton field office. He retired as a Captain in 1988. In 1969, Morgan built the family camp at North Point, Raquette Lake, so that his family could maintain their close friendships with local residents, while enjoying the beauty and the bounty of the Adirondack Mountains. After his retirement, Morgan and Judy built their retirement home next to the family camp. During his retirement, Morgan enjoyed fishing and hunting outings with family and friends and, most of all, enjoyed telling stories of his woods and waters experiences, of which there were many.
Morgan was predeceased by his parents, Paul H. and Esther W. Roderick, and sister Ethel Gilbert, all of Syracuse, and his brother Daniel W. Roderick, of Virginia Beach, Va. He is survived by his wife, Judy Keipper Roderick of North Point, Raquette Lake, and his son, NYS ECO Eric A. Roderick and wife Laury Kerr of Glenfield, and daughter Lynn Roderick of Glen Allen, Va.
Morgan was cremated in Virginia, and his ashes will return to the Adirondack Mountains. A memorial picnic will follow at a later date this summer. Donations in his name should be directed to the Raquette Lake Fish and Game Club, Raquette Lake Fire Department, Long Lake Rescue Squad or Long Lake Fire Department.