Paul Thomas Rodke was born April 12, 1960 to ElRoy and Karen Rodke in Moorhead, MN. Paul was raised in Hawley, MN and attended Hawley High School, participating in football, basketball, and taking a crack at just about any sport he could try out just to see. He graduated in the Class of 1978 and went on to attend University of Minnesota Crookston where he earned his agricultural degree. He returned home to his family to join his father in the family’s business of farming. When the farming industry took a difficult turn, ElRoy and Paul worked in the flax straw business which developed into other interests. Together, he and his dad worked tirelessly to build a trucking business, of which he was (and should have been) very proud.
Paul’s first marriage gave him three beautiful children: Stephanie, Katie, and Andrew. He received immense joy from watching them grow into the successful adults they are today and making their own way in life. Paul married Mindy Crane on September 1, 2001, having three more beautiful children and embarking on another adventure in parenting to Gavin (17), Kade (16), and Brielle (9). He was so proud of all six of his children and his two beautiful grandchildren; they were his proudest accomplishments. He never missed the chance to watch his Vikings, a true lesson in dedication and loyalty. He was an exceptional truck driver with an impeccable driving record who managed to log over 2 million miles and earn a well-deserved reputation for embodying honesty and integrity in his work and appreciation for his customers. Paul was a deep lover of classic rock music, but a terrible dancer. Still, this did not prevent him from busting out those thumbs and heading to the dance floor. He chased thrills throughout his life whether it was participating in shenanigans with high school classmates or careening around a competitive go kart track.
Paul died Saturday, August 7, 2021. To say he will be missed is a tragic understatement. Paul is survived by his wife Mindy; his father ElRoy; his sisters Michelle (Brett) Dahl and Ann (Dave) Leshovsky; his six children Stephanie (Billy) Jordan, Katie (David) Gibb, Andrew, Gavin, Kade, and Brielle Rodke; his two grandchildren Spencer and Grace Jordan; and loving nephews, nieces, in-laws, friends, and classmates. Paul was preceded in death by his loving mother Karen.
The visitation will be held at Wright Funeral Home in Hawley, MN on August 15, 2021 from 5-7pm with a prayer service to follow. The funeral will be held at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Hawley, MN on August 16, 2021 at 11am., and a livestream of the service will be available. Burial will follow at the Hawley Cemetery where Paul will be laid to rest near his dear mother.