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Plan Ahead

Roderick Roy MacElwain

October 17, 1950 –
 January 15, 2023


Roderick Roy MacElwain passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 15, 2023, following a heroic battle with cancer that defied all odds.  Roderick impacted the lives of virtually every person he encountered, often profoundly.  He was a giant of a man who truly led a singular, exceptional life.

Roderick was born on October 17, 1950 in Miami, Florida.  Roderick had vivid childhood memories of growing up in Key Biscayne, Florida in the 1950’s.  Hearing his parents’ stories about their military service in World War II – his mother Marjorie served as a medical assistant in the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), while his father Jack served in the Army in the European theater – instilled him with a lifelong sense of duty and patriotism, and an unflagging commitment to always do the right thing.  Another of Roderick’s vivid childhood memories was spending summers at his Grandmother Mamie’s cabin in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota.  There, Roderick developed his deep-rooted sense of life as an adventure and a lasting love of the outdoors.

Roderick’s family moved to Hillsborough, California, in the San Francisco Bay area, when Roderick was still a youngster.  Roderick attended Crocker Middle School in Hillsborough and what is now the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach.  He graduated from the Menlo School in Atherton, where he was a member of the high school football team.  Gifted with a silver tongue and never one to take “no” for an answer, after high school Roderick managed to maneuver his way onto the football team at the University of Alabama, then under the leadership of legendary coach Bear Bryant.  Wisely concluding after his first season that a football career wasn’t in his future, Roderick transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a degree in history in 1972.

After graduating from Cal Berkeley, Roderick moved to New York to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a business career.  Roderick lived in New York for several years.  Although his future as a business leader showed great promise with his initial career success, Roderick ultimately decided to pursue his true calling in life: to love people and to explore the life of the Spirit.

Roderick underwent a powerful religious awakening in his mid-twenties.  Having been raised in the Christian faith, at this stage of life his Christian faith became profoundly personal.  Roderick took up the calling to “Be Like Christ”, performing many acts of selfless altruism.  He ultimately felt called to travel the world, to explore its people and to deepen his faith.  Without money, food, a change of clothes or even a passport, and with a self-imposed rule that he would not beg or ask anyone for help, Roderick left home to see where and how far his faith, grit and wits might take him.  He would often refer to his trip around the world as a formative experience, and he would share countless stories of his travels through several continents, stories which were both harrowing and heartwarming.  Many of his experiences on his around-the-world journey, including several where his life was in jeopardy, seem nothing short of miraculous.

After returning from his travels, Roderick first returned to his native Florida.  He later moved to Dallas, Texas in the early 1980’s.  During this chapter of his life as before, Roderick pursued various entrepreneurial and business endeavors.  But even though he did not have particular difficulty making money, it was never Roderick’s priority.  Rather, it was always the people and the experiences that truly mattered.  Roderick had an uncanny ability to find what he called “magic in the mundane,” and he would spread his magical sense of life to all those around him.

A voracious reader with a gift for what he liked to call “pattern recognition,” Roderick was conversant on virtually any topic.  He was profoundly gifted at logical problem solving, yet he simultaneously possessed an intuition that would stun those around him.  Roderick’s gifts made him a one-of-a-kind freelance consultant.  While he would consult on business matters, he would also guide and help people in virtually any facet of their lives.  As always, it wasn’t the promise of financial reward that made Roderick take on a particular client, but rather whether he felt a kinship with them.  Indeed, Roderick more than almost anyone could not be bought.  He would refuse to work with anyone if he didn’t believe in the purpose they were trying to achieve or if the assignment didn’t interest him.

Roderick was always known for his authenticity and non-conformity.  He was a man of unique and constantly evolving interests.  Whether it was pursuing his interests in dream analysis, race walking, or improvisational singing, Roderick always marched to his own drum.  One of his more zany episodes was driving a taxi cab in Miami in the late 1970’s.  While his taxi-driving stint didn’t last long, it served as yet another outlet for his fascination with human nature and for pursuing life as an adventure.  Roderick was also known for his ascetic lifestyle.  Driving his signature 1960’s Volkswagen Beetle for many years and eschewing all luxuries, many may not have known that Roderick lived modestly by choice.

Roderick is perhaps best known locally in the Dallas area as one of “the Free Advice guys.”  Nearly every Sunday for over two decades, Roderick and his close friend Neal Caldwell would sit on a picnic blanket at White Rock Lake’s Jackson Point with a hand-painted sign offering “Free Advice” to passers-by.  Over the years, Roderick gave free advice to literally tens of thousands of people.  Although most who went to Free Advice were initially strangers, many became repeat visitors.  Some even became lifelong friends.  Fond of saying that he would give advice on “everything from bathroom tile to relationships,” Roderick found Free Advice yet another outlet for his passion to help others and to use his remarkable intellect.

Everyone who met Roderick remembered the experience.  Simultaneously traditional but iconoclastic, passionate but incisive, caring but brutally honest, a conversation with Roderick was like no other.  As one of his friends recently shared, it was as if Roderick understood you before you even said anything.  Roderick was never afraid to say what he believed, but always did so with the intention of helping the listener.  He was deeply committed to helping others achieve their highest potential in every facet of their life.  He was a lover of people, able to understand and love them even when they might not understand or love themselves.  Whether it was a close friend, a visitor at Free Advice, or one of the countless strangers he would strike up a conversation with literally anywhere, people always felt Roderick understood and deeply cared about them.

Roderick remained a profoundly spiritual person throughout his life.  In his later years, during his battle with cancer, he fully embraced his Christian faith and more openly shared it with those around him.  While he was non-denominational and had no interest in imposing his beliefs on others, Roderick would share his faith in God’s Love and the Lord Jesus Christ with anyone who wanted to listen.  Roderick spoke of what he called “simple Jesus” – Jesus’s message of abiding, unconditional Love, as described in the gospels.

Roderick was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in April 2017.  At the time of his diagnosis, his doctors told him he had approximately six months to live.  Minutes after leaving the consultation where he received his diagnosis, Roderick had what he described as another of his life’s major spiritual experiences when he heard a voice say, “The Season of Love is upon you – Now.”  For Roderick and his wife Lisa, their experience with his cancer was not so much a battle against the disease, but more an invitation to open their hearts, to love life and to love others.  Despite the pain and challenge of his illness, Roderick would often say that cancer was “the best thing that ever happened to him,” as it affirmed the importance of God and close relationships with family and friends.

Never one to be satisfied with conventional wisdom or to accept defeat, Roderick took on cancer in a way that was both herculean and quintessentially his own.  A vegan devoted to a healthy lifestyle long before it was fashionable, Roderick pursued some conventional treatments for his illness but also used many alternative treatments.  Roderick’s unique approach to cancer treatment almost certainly extended his life by several years.  Roderick would share his experiences with these treatments with others struggling with cancer, helping them in their own battle with the disease.  Roderick’s friends and family were in awe of his strength and resolve in the face of cancer, while his physicians were stunned by his remarkable survival for nearly six years following his initial diagnosis.  Roderick and Lisa experienced many miracles during his fight with cancer, which helped them keep on going despite an unrelenting illness.

Roderick’s final days were indeed challenging.  Although cancer eventually broke his body, Roderick remained lucid until the very end, as he always hoped.  Until just days before his passing, Roderick was still able to communicate with those around him in the one-of-a-kind way that only he could.  At the end, the man who was born during Hurricane King – the most violent storm to hit Florida in nearly 25 years at the time – passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones.

Roderick is survived by his loving wife Lisa Oglesby Rocha, sister Eva Narten, niece Michelle MacElwain Leon and great nephew Jorge Taño Leon, as well as countless spiritual family members and close friends.

The pain of Roderick’s absence will be acutely felt, but we are immeasurably better for his shining example of love and kindness, his fierce integrity, and his uncompromising pursuit of truth.  He was truly a giant among men.

Roderick, we will miss you profoundly, but you will truly be forever with us in our hearts.  We Love You.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 848 Harter Road, Dallas, Texas.  A celebration of Roderick’s life will immediately follow.  In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Roderick’s memory are encouraged to do two things: First, to do a kind, loving act for someone else. And second, to ask themselves how they can live their life in the way that is most true to their innermost self, in keeping with God’s calling for them.

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7.

 “The most important [commandment],” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:29 – 31.

Memorial Service

March 4, 2023
2:00 pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church
848 Harter Road, Dallas, Texas 75218
22 Thoughts on Roderick Roy MacElwain
    Kaliya Rivet
    24 Jan 2023

    This beautiful obituary managed to do as much justice to Roderick’s memory as it is possible to do in words. Roderick had a gift for seeing what was truly singular in each person–it was as if he viewed each person as a unique revelation of God in and of themselves. Though there was much about him to admire and imitate, it is this ability of his that I have sought to cultivate within myself most of all. I hope that, in this small way, I will help to carry forward the legacy of this profoundly wise and wonderful man who made such an impact on everyone he met.

      Tracy Fleming Glaser
      25 Jan 2023

      Beautifully said. I hope also to do the same. Thank you 🙏

    James Snell
    24 Jan 2023

    Lisa and your family, and friends of Roddy, I am deeply saddened at Roddy’s passing, and send you Prayers, Peace, and Love in your time of morning.

    James Snell
    24 Jan 2023

    Please indulge me my memories of Roddy. For many years, he was just one of the things that made me smile when I was running at White Rock Lake. I would pass him and his “Free Advice” sign, smile, say “Hi,” and always wonder: what kind of advice? Legal? Stock tips? And I would smile again. Like so many, I was mostly running in my own little world. But one fortunate day in 2012, I saw a dear friend of mine talking to the Free Advice guy. I stopped to say “Hi,” to her; but as soon as I did, she and her walking friend realized they had to go.

    I found myself, face to face, alone, with Roddy MacElwain! We talked for about 30 minutes that first encounter. My report of our conversation later at home inspired my oldest son to go hunt down Roddy at the Lake and have his own session.

    Roddy wasn’t a smart-phone guy when I met him. But we exchanged numbers, and met sometime later for lunch. Then, I got on his group texts, where he regularly sent uplifting prose or poetry – songs really. Over time, I sought Roddy out, and we became closer. The inflection point in our relationship was when my friend, who was talking to Roddy the day I met him, passed away from cancer in May 2017. The following week, Roddy and I had a brief but life-changing meeting. I told Roddy how important it had been to care for my friend when she was ill. Roddy says that conversation was one he needed. I had a chance to give a little something back to a man who gave so much to others all the time.

    From then until Covid, I was blessed to spend many afternoons with Roddy and others who were drawn to him. In 2019, he and Lisa helped me through one of the most difficult years of my life. Even as they dealt daily with Roddy’s cancer, they had so much to share with others in need. He also taught all of us who were blessed to know him the last 5 years of his life so much about how to “live with cancer.”

    When Covid came, I wasn’t able to see Roddy in person much. But he would call me on the phone, and we would usually talk for an hour. Well, he talked, mostly, and I was blessed to listen. We had Great conversations. We didn’t always agree on everything. But we both agreed that the only “religion” that matters is Love – Love he spread in abundance to me and to everyone he met.

    Roddy is one of the most consequential persons I have been blessed to call “friend” in my life. His body is gone, but his Spirit lives on in me and, I imagine, everyone else who knew him.

    Cay and Carol
    24 Jan 2023

    Although we didn’t have the chance to get to know Roderick well I felt profoundly connected to him in our few conversations before and during his illness. His deep respect and love for others was so apparent from the first time we met him. We send our love and condolences to you, Lisa, and all of Roderick’s family and friends. Love, Cay & Carol

    Nola Rae Smith
    24 Jan 2023

    Rod was my neighbor . Talking in passing as Lisa and him walked in the neighborhood . One day he smile and spoke to me . I asked him to pray for my friend, Selda who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer . I was on my way to Austin to be with her for surgery . He called on my cell phone and spoke to Selda , sent her a prayer coin, and also sang to her .
    I will forever be grateful for his kindness .
    Peace be with you Rod . You did run the race well and now you are in The Kingdom of God 🙏✝️

    Petra Hubbard
    24 Jan 2023

    My deepest condolences to Roderick’s family and friends. The obituary was lovely. Roderick was a special person, and he will be remembered. I met Roderick at “Free Advice” and enjoyed our many conversations. He was exceptionally intelligent and could draw from many spheres of life. There was no such thing as “small talk” with him! Again, my deepest condolences to his loved ones.

    Keith James Price
    24 Jan 2023

    Well, let me begin by saying I’m jealous. Other than Lisa and Eva, I thought I was the only one Rod truly loved. How silly and arrogant. I say this all in jest, of course, and to point out a larger theme. Rod had more than enough love to go around. Like MANY others, I was a glutton for his affection. And his specialty in making one think one was everything to him and all his attention on us. That’s a cosmic gift of infinite proportions and the theme I mentioned.

    And, boy, did I get that bottomless well of his devotion. I’m better for it. For a hard case like I am, that’s saying something.

    Pure happenstance, initially, brought us together. I’ve been riding and racing that lake for 30 something years (apologies for being … one of them). My attention was solely on the road before me (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere). I saw the “Free Advice” guy 1000s of times, and my first thought was, who’s the beatnik? I have no time for that stuff. I’m from Philadelphia, and we have no time for anything but anger and despair.

    Something made me stop one day.

    I have not been the same since.

    I ended up loving Roddy so much, a quality I don’t share easily unless it’s earned, but he had my head spinning after our first encounter. Without being the Amazing Kreskin, he told me things about myself that blew me away. And I hadn’t even said anything yet !!!! This process continued for about 10+ years. We ended up referring to each other as “the brother from a different mother”. This is 100% true. And he made mincemeat out of my crusty Philadelphia exterior. Literally laid me to waste. And I loved every minute of it. I am a touchy feely guy, but very careful about it. Roddy was clearly NOT like that. I actually let him in with only minor internal freakouts; long term habits aren’t easy to break. But, Rod got in. Yes, he did.

    I truly loved this man. LOVE LOVE LOVE. And we talked about religion constantly. I’m an unwavering Catholic. I say this only because there was never any enmity between us, as I never stopped trying to convert him (it’s not nearly as obnoxious as it sounds; these were Socratic arguments and welcome for both of us).

    Rod had a sense of humor. His memorial service is at an Episcopal Church, so I almost got him !!!! He would revel in that. I work with felons who make me look like a marshmallow (Roddy understood, without provocation from me, that I am a marshmallow; his pointing it out constantly, and me arguing back, made me love him all the more). He would revel in this, too: Rod has been on their prayer list.

    In closing, I have a hole in my heart. It’s not about me and all about Rod and Lisa. That space will never be filled; he meant that much to me, the curmudgeon. My God in Heaven, my sweet Jesus, how I loved that man. I always said he descended from another dimension; his affect was that powerful. I miss him fiercely.

      25 Jan 2023

      Absolutely priceless. Thank you for making me smile

    Deborah Rose
    24 Jan 2023

    What a great loss for us, even though it is temporary. I can understand God wanting to have Roderick as close to Him as possible. I have had few people show me God here in this earth the way Roderick did. He made me feel seen. He gave me the desire to intensify my relationship with God and moved me to seek more of God as it was my birthright. He will always be a bright light, shining the way for me to see the path like no one ever has. I thank God for Roderick.

    Bill Cosby
    25 Jan 2023

    I remember Roderick very well. I only met him once and it was probably 8 or 10 years ago. Lisa is my cousin and she and Roderick spent a night with Brenda and I at our home in Virginia. Thinking back on that evening, I am amazed at how well I remember the details of our conversations. There is one thing he talked about that has struck with us and really impacted our lives. He talked in detail about the impact his grandmother had on his life – on who he became. When he was young, he spent a lot of time with her. She told him to believe in himself. He was capable of great things. He was only limited by his imagination. He was special. He had a great mind. They sat out at night under the stars and she taught him to imagine what could be. She deeply impacted who he was.
    Brenda and I now have five grandchildren. Roderick taught us to instill imagination, a sense of what can be, a knowledge that they are special in our grandkids.
    We came away happy that Lisa loved a really special man. In just a few hours, he left a real impact on our entire family.

    Jeannette Marie Goodman
    25 Jan 2023

    What a beautiful tribute to his life. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers go with you.

    Marie Iddings
    25 Jan 2023

    A profound and beautiful tribute to a powerful man. I am very sad to hear of Roderick’s passing as I know that my good friend Lisa loved him with her entire being. May his memory be a blessing and a comfort to all who knew him and loved him. He made the world a better place and uplifted so many people.

    Tracy Fleming Glaser
    25 Jan 2023

    Hi Lisa,
    This Tracy from Glaser Organic Farms…
    I am so sorry for your loss. The world has lost a beautiful soul. But his love remains with us, with me. What a peaceful, graceful, and grateful human being Roderick was… one that seems was sent purposely to show us, and remind us, and encourage us to seek our divine connection with God… how can a person have a better friend? He was like a brother, my God brother, closer even… some things I didn’t have to explain. He knew what I was talking about. As his own spiritual connection grew he shared that. He was connected spiritually to fellow human beings more than we knew… truly every breath Roderick took was a gift and he shared that understanding with me and the world. He shared that with me and you, together, sitting amoungst friends, friends we knew and friends mostly we didn’t know, at the farmers market… under the blue and white stripe tents, on a Saturday, sitting down, talking close, sharing a laugh, shedding a tear together over our enlightening conversations… I am sad to lose such a friend. He was a stalwart but gentle soldier of love, of kindness, and of goodness that is deep and real. The kind that cries when you speak about the simplest things like the beauty of the blending of colors on a mango 🥭 I’ve always wanted someone that saw those things with me. I saw them, he saw them… like close sisters crying together over something that seemed so simple or ordinary…. because they weren’t ordinary. And Roderick saw the divine in everything. I was blessed to share that kind of closeness through deep realization with him. I remember specifically speaking together one day and I started crying, because the world was so amazing and I couldn’t finish what I was saying… and he started crying too… saying “yes!”…. I see that too… the connection of all the goings-on in life, on the whole planet, and its role in our spiritual growth. Finally, there was someone not saying to me “don’t cry” …because I needed to cry, I was compelled… and he knew that… he too was compelled and embraced it all and cried with me. I’ll always have that in my heart, a real friend who had spiritual vision and deep faith. So if I cry again, it’ll be the joyous type, the type Roderick and I shared together, realizing what a gift life, and every breath, truly is. There was no where to hide with Roderick he put all his love forward.
    I hope to do the same for the rest of my life… putting my love forward, sharing God’s grace, our love, our understanding , our compassion with our fellow man. What a beautiful world God created for all of us. We simply have to see it.
    I only pray that we’ll meet again sometime. God has blessed me with a great friend in Roderick. I will miss him.
    Many blessings to you my dear. God bless.

    Karen Oglesby Wagner
    26 Jan 2023

    It’s funny how memories of someone are like a tiny clump here and tiny clump there that don’t seem connected and then, all of a sudden there’s a conglomerate—a complex mass with all sorts of impressions and feelings filled with meaning. That’s how my memories are of Roderick. A couple of my tiny clumps: (1) picking 40 quarts of blueberries with him and how joyful and playful he was doing that and, (2) being a little sickened by seeing him roll banana after banana in lettuce leaves for meal after meal. (3) And then there was the time with the membership guy at some fitness place Lisa and he briefly joined. He connected with this young man’s grief and gave it comfort within a short period of time, leaving me to wonder how on earth he had done that. Well, I guess that’s precisely the crux, it wasn’t earthly! Then, there is a conglomerate—the one I have sometimes retold to friends of mine who hadn’t met him but were curious to understand who this …unusual guy was. For me, it opened my eyes to him and to the existence and magic, or miracle, of very special people. This story stands out to me as a significant example of how Roderick could see right into people. We were at the Rochester Market which is not your fancy produce/products kind of farmer’s market but a place where people from all walks of life who want a good deal on produce go. On Saturdays it’s crowded and the pace is…New York-ish with buy/sell, buy/sell replaying in fast succession. Roderick went up to a Vietnamese woman’s stand and rather than buying something, he just looked at her across the table. At first, she was distracted by other customers who wanted to buy but then she looked at him. He reached his hands, palm upwards towards her and her face crumpled. She grabbed his hands and from an outsider’s perspective, started crying out of the blue. Roderick didn’t say anything. He just held her hands as she cried. At some point, she came around to his side and I think she mumbled how she missed him (a son? a husband?) SO much and Roderick just told her it was going to be O.K.

    In all honesty (which Roderick would probably want), Roderick could also make people, including me, antsy and uncomfortable at times. With us both being strong-willed people with some strong opinions we butted heads from time to time but the net impact he had on me was definitely positive. I saw him as someone who had a gift for not only comforting others but also for making others feel like…it was going to be O.K. That THEY were O.K. and beautiful and loved for who they intrinsically were. I know Roderick made me feel like that at times. He made me feel “enough” and, whether it was a story that he told in his winding twisty way that I realized later related to what I was internally working on, or whether it was a direct telling of a truth in me that he perceived, I felt loved. In so many ways, Roderick epitomized a “love bug” and I know that he helped create a safe haven for loving and being loved for my sister, Lisa, that has influenced her into becoming a from-the-heart authentic “love bug” herself. Thank you Roderick for bringing more love into the world. As a UU saying goes, “to live in hearts that love is not to die”.

    Best wishes on your transition Roderick. May all these loving memories of mine and others be your ‘mead and bread’ as you travel to what is next. We will do our best to surround Lisa with our love as she grieves your absence.

    Lance Hagan
    26 Jan 2023

    I’m deeply saddened in hearing the news of Roderick’s passing .. He tackled life with such zest & love for those around him with true authenticity.. I first met Roderick @ White Rock Lake in a free advice session after learning of him through a Thursday morning Bible Study .. I felt drawn to visit him .. I have twin boys one of whom is autistic and non-verbal @ the time..

    Roderick understood the struggles of Autism as he too was on the Spectrum … He was gifted with an innate sense of understanding what is not seen .. He could read people and encourage those in need. The encounter that afternoon were both powerful & life changing 🙏🏻🙏🏻a connection was made not only with my son Will but with our family as a whole .. He shared of his childhood struggles.. Stories of his parents and their unconditional love in raising an autistic child .. stores of resilience of the human spirit ; he sang poetic songs of love & redemption; his mind and words sharp & piercing ..I broke down and released the unknown in raising an autistic son feeling empowered that day .. Roderick’s words of healing were timely and our new friendship began… I felt encouraged in receiving his inspiring poems / message’s of faith, hope and love of Christ via text..We would visit from time to time as he always had an ear for Will’s progress .. I had the pleasure of spending a three hour counsel session one afternoon in his backyard camper after his early diagnosis of cancer .. I wish had recorded of our time together , his mind and spirit were captivating; his transparency & vulnerability were staggering 🙏🏻🙏🏻 I learned of his worldly travels , encounters with strangers , his sharing of the Gospel ; His Love of humanity 🙏🏻🙏🏻He would say “I’m on a Love March for God “ ..

    Dearest Roderick you will be greatly missed as you fought the good fight and paid it forward for Christ 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻Well done faithful servant

    Lisa , We are covering your family in prayer..Prayers of comfort during this difficult time Please know how may lives Roderick touched and his gift of healing and encouragement..
    Also what a blessing you two were to one another I unfortunately will be out of town the weekend of the memorial service , perhaps it will be recorded , please know we will be there in Spirit 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    below is Roderick’s last poem I received ; I pray we can all move closer in Spirit and Glorify the Lord as Roderick did his entire life 🙏🏻

    Bless you my dear friend 🙏🏻🙏🏻

    The Sacred Wound
    Cancer Prayer Ministry

    There is another way of seeing this world. It changes everything.

    What is this other way and how do I find this other way?

    For many even most this way will not easily be found.

    The story of Jesus Christ is all about that other way.

    I have met people following other powerful stories. I simply asked them if they love God and all people and themselves unconditionally.

    Some said yes and some said no. I have met very few God lovers of any religion that love everyone unconditionally or have any desire to love unconditionally everyone.

    However the ones who said yes and radiated the truth of their answer were clearly moving, to my perception, in Spirit.

    For me spirituality is falling in love unconditionally with God.

    People ask me how that is working out and I smile or even sometimes laugh as the tears roll down my face.

    It is working out so well that it is beyond my human ability to express.

    When people repeatedly ask me how they can do this I tell them a lot of people loving them and their Creator holding their hand will give them a touch of Heaven and then the way will be much clearer.

    Lance Goetz
    26 Jan 2023

    Dear Lisa,
    I’m so sorry for your loss and for this difficult time that cannot be avoided. But it is heartwarming to read the stories of some of the many others whose lives he touched. Roderick had so much love in his heart. He really did make everyone around him better for knowing him. I would not have found out about AVANCE, or met you, had I not met him. There are not many pairs who compare to you two. Both of you have very special gifts that you’ve given to others.

    Diane Blackburn
    29 Jan 2023

    Oh my, what wonderful comments to Roderick. Did not know him as long as most commenters here. A life to be proud of. Wish I had been a White Rock-er and stopped by his FREE ADVICE sign. But I received a song and prayer every time we did see each other! I’m thankful to have received that and send nothing but love to Lisa and the rest of his family and friends. What a different kind of person Roderick was….I like different and it’s a plus! Sorry for our loss, glad to have intersected his world. PEACE and LOVE to all

    John Shearron
    29 Jan 2023

    Where do you start when you’re talking about a man who is the embodiment of love, the poster boy for adventure, with no ego and introspective enough to change his life when he deemed it was right thing to do?

    I don’t believe he’s gone, because he left so much of himself behind. He’s just onto his next adventure, taking nothing and leaving everything. He was publicly intimate with everyone he met. Regardless of how others might look at him, he unabashedly shared his love. He came into this life with nothing and created everything. Everything that had love and joy wrapped up inside. He tied it in a bow, handing it out everywhere he went.

    I will miss you Rod. Everyone you touched will miss you. Selfishly I will keep all the love you bestowed upon me.


    clara wagner
    30 Jan 2023

    I’m grateful to everyone who has written comments – There’s been lots of sweetness and meaning in reading through them. Roderick and I didn’t share too much physical space, outside of a few short visits, but he was one of my relatives with the strongest virtual presence. From Love Ministry texts to annual voicemail renditions of him and Aunt Lisa singing happy birthday, his presence is one that’s been felt in my life, despite being a dozen states away. Roderick promised to protect me when, after high school, I traveled alone to West Africa. He said that if I ever got into any particularly scary or sticky situation, he’d come and get me out of it himself. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that; it sounded like a fairy tale–meaningful, even if not necessarily existing in the “real world.” I think much of my experience of Roderick was like that–partly getting swept into his world of magic and fairy tale, and partly existing in a more skeptical space of wanting to sort out tall tale grandeur from plain reality. From my experiences of him as well as from these comments, it feels like no grand claim to conclude that he had a particular effect on people–often one of bringing a particular intimacy to what could have otherwise been quotidian interactions. Roderick gave me the gift of seeing my pain, and by doing so opened the door for me to call him once, out of the blue, and talk about some darkness that I wouldn’t have talked to anyone else about so plainly. I am grateful to him for that, and also for the love he gave my aunt and so many others. Wishing him, and everyone touched by him, a little extra love in the coming weeks and months.

    Tony Reed
    30 Jan 2023

    My deepest condolences to Roderick’s family and friends. I initially met Roderick while he was running at White Rock. I’d been running at the lake since 1981 and saw the activity at the “Free Advice” location. When he wasn’t talking with someone, we’d wave at each other as I passed. However, I didn’t meet him until we both were running and decided to run together and talk. We had a fantastic conversation. Afterwards, he identified himself as the Free Advice guy. We became life-long friends. One of the things that I noticed and admired about him was that he never gave me advice. Instead, he’d ask me a series of questions which led me to figure out the right solution. He will be missed.

    Sharon Oglesby
    1 Feb 2023

    We will always treasure the memories of your visit Lisa with Roderick. Our sons loved him and we all appreciated his kindness, warmth and joy in life.
    All our best wishes and prayers for you in this difficult time
    Sharon and Cam Oglesby

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"If I could give 6 stars I would. Aria made a difficult easier to deal with by basically taking care of everything in an efficient but very empathetic manner. I can speak highly enough of Dusty Martin, who helped us with all of the planning and logistics. He was incredibly understanding and helpful."
Angel M.
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"Nothing prepares you for the grief you go through when losing a child. I called this funeral home at 2:00 am broken and could barely talk. The amount of compassion and empathy they showed me immediately let me know I found the right place to cremate my son. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism, SINCERE concern, and commitment to making sure my son was honored in the most respectful way. I hope this Funeral home values her as much as my family and I do."
McGee Family
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"Wayne and Staff, thank you for taking care of the arrangements for our mom, Exter McGee and our dad, Philip McGee. You have been great to work with during such a difficult time."
Elledge Family
Elledge Family
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"On behalf of my family, I wanted you to know how much we appreciate your handling of my husband's final arrangements. Wayne Baxter assisted & guided us through the entire process with such care & compassion. Don't know what we would have done without him! Sincerely, Colleen Elledge"
The Peterson Family
The Peterson FamilyYelp! Review - Northwest Highway 5-Stars
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"I can’t say enough about how helpful and professional Dusty Martin, the funeral director at the Aria Cremation location on NW Highway has been. From my initial call, he was kind and informative. My friend died at home while on hospice and she was picked up in about an hour after receiving the call from the hospice nurse. The person who arrived to pick her up was also very professional/respectful and allowed us to take as much time with her as we wished. When I met with Dusty the next day about arrangements, he explained the process and options available without being pushy or trying to “sell” extras. Throughout the process, he kept me informed and, for example, was careful to be certain I understood the cost of the obituary I wanted and offered some options for reducing that cost if I wished. When I stopped by for another reason and started talking about some of the problems I was having with the pictures and media I hoped to use at a memorial lunch I was planning, he not only listened patiently but offered technology advice and let me use his personal media player. I have had experience arranging cremations for four others using two other local companies, and this experience with Dusty at Aria has been by far the best one I have had."
Paula Barnes
Paula BarnesGoogle Review
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"My Daddy’s service and our family experience at Aria Northwest Highway was truly blessed. Funeral Director Dustin Martin is the kind of person that you would like to see on a more regular basis – but in his industry – you hope to not see him that often. That being said – THANK YOU DUSTIN for your unending kindness, compassion and friendship through the process. Meeting you and discussing Dallas History, Find A Grave and my Dad’s lifelong contributions to the great City of Dallas was simply wonderful! In memory of my dad James A. Dodd, Sr. – I want to personally thank you and let you know that you made everything better in that moment. Your calling to “Be There” is spot on. Aria has a one in a million guy in you! Bling Blinky of TEXAS Shout Out: God Bless You!!"

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