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John  Albert Rodda
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Obituary for John Albert Rodda

John Albert Rodda passed away on April 30, 2018. He was born in La Salle, Illinois to Albert and Mary Rodda on November 22, 1955. He moved to Lakeland with his family in 1971 and graduated from Lakeland High School in 1973. He married his high school sweetheart Becky Higginbotham on April 10, 1976. They had two children, Jason and Leslie. John accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior as a teenager and sought to honor the Lord in all that he did.

After working as a home builder superintendent, lumber salesman, carpenter and then Vice President of Andreas Construction for 9 years, he founded Rodda Construction in 1989. Starting out with a handful of projects, and only 1 other employee, he grew the business into a successful company within just a few short years. Early on in Rodda’s existence, John’s brother Jodie came alongside him and has been a fixture in the Central Florida commercial construction market ever since. In 2002, Jason started full-time at the company upon his graduation of college. Rodda has continued to prosper, building thousands of projects across Polk County, and earn the trust of some of the most prestigious organizations in Lakeland, and across the country. They have successfully completed some of the most well-known projects in the area over the past 29 years, such as the SunTrust Building, Heritage Plaza, Common Ground Park, the Lakeland Ledger, Joker Marchant Stadium, and many successful projects for the City of Lakeland, Polk County, the Polk County School Board, and Florida Southern College, just to name a few.

He was extremely active in local youth sports, including Lakeland City Baseball, where he was a long-time coach and served on the Board of Directors. At George Jenkins High School, he served as President of the Athletic Booster Club and was heavily involved with the baseball team. In the spring of 2009, the Baseball Field at George Jenkins High School was renamed to “John Rodda Field” in honor of his long-standing support of the GJHS Baseball Program. John was also a coach for Hall of Famer Chuck Anderson at Florida Southern College for 4 years and was named to the FSC Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2009, he was awarded the Polk County Sports Marketing Bernie Little Executive of the Year Award. John and his business have been major supporters of hundreds of other Lakeland and Polk County non-profits, schools and civic organizations. He is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland Class 11 and was the recipient of the 2013 Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association Jere Annis Award. Rodda Construction was named the 2013 Business Partner of the Year by the Polk County School Board. John also served on the Boards of SunTrust Bank Central Region, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, Talbot House, Parker Street Ministries, and an Elder at First Presbyterian Church Lakeland (where he was a member since November 11, 1975). John also served on the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees, and in 2013 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration.

All of his accomplishments paled in comparison to the love he had for his family and especially his 8 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Mary Rodda, and sister Kathy Holmes. He is survived by his wife Becky, son and daughter-in-law Jason and Abby Rodda, daughter and son-in-law Leslie and Brett Blondell, sister Cindy Hayes (George), and brother Jodie (Phyllis), grandchildren Grace, Ila, Evelyn, and Johnny Rodda, and Kate, Ella, Nolan, and Nora Blondell.

Services will be held on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at 3:00pm, at First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive Lakeland, FL, 33801. In lieu of flowers, Memorial gifts may be made to the Dr. John A. and Becky Rodda Scholarship Fund, Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801, or to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation at P.O. Box 1848 Longmont, CO 80502.


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Previous Events

Service

Thursday

3

May

3:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801

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