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Donald D Wodrich
05/07/1932 — 06/07/2022
From Richland, WA
418 North Yelm Street
Kennewick, WA US 99336
Donald D Wodrich
Don Wodrich passed away on June 7, 2022 at the Chaplaincy Hospice House in Kennewick, Washington, one month after celebrating his 90th birthday in his home with his family. Don was born in the small town of Rapelje, Montana on May 7, 1932, delivered by his father and grandmother because the roads were too muddy for the doctor to get there. He was the middle son of Fred and Thelma Wodrich. He attended the Rapelje School where all twelve grades were located in one building. He grew up working in his dad’s garage business where he fixed flat tires, serviced cars and trucks, delivered gas to farmers and ranchers, and helped repair automobiles and farm equipment. Growing up in Montana, Don enjoyed basketball, baseball, ice-skating, swimming and duck hunting along any creek or pond that had enough water.
After high school he attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. He also helped his dad farm before he was drafted into the Army and served in the Army Security Agency in Germany. Following his military service, he attended Montana State College (now University) graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1958. Along the way he met, fell in love with, and married Patricia Isakson in 1957. They moved to Richland, Washington and he went to work for the General Electric Company, thus beginning his 50-year career at the Hanford Nuclear Site.
Don and Patricia have three children Dan, Jim and Nancy. Family activities included annual trips to Montana and frequent outings for water skiing, camping, and fishing; with Idaho’s Priest Lake providing special memories. Our family have been members at Richland Lutheran Church and First Lutheran Church of Kennewick and were blessed by participation in the life of those congregations. Don and Pat together enjoyed their nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorable family trips with grandchildren included Hawaii and the Tetons.
After retiring, Don kept busy traveling, repairing things, served as guardian ad litem for children in the juvenile court system, a docent for B-Reactor tours, served on the Board of Luther Senior Center, and played a bit of golf. In more recent years he was caregiver for his wife, Patricia, his bride of nearly 65 years.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Bob and Noel. Survivors include his wife, Patricia, and children Dan Wodrich (Laura) of Richland, Jim Wodrich (Valerie) of Bend, OR, and Nancy Sargent (Rich) of Richland. Grandchildren are Angela (Scott), Jennifer, Lindsey (Evan), Claire, William, Megan, Erika, Nick (Taylor), and Nathan. Great grandchildren are Mason and Brynn.
Don will be remembered most for his smile, jokes, and his love, devotion, and service to his family and others. He led more by example than words, was someone you could always count on and lived each day with an “Attitude of Gratitude”.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Lutheran Church of Kennewick or to a charity of the donor’s choice. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2 pm at First Lutheran Church of Kennewick.
I worked with Don at Hanford and he was always a gentleman and a professional. My best to the Wodrich family.
Sincerely, Dave Borders
So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Our families knew each other from Richland Lutheran Church, and my folks were also from Montana, which was always an instant bond. My prayers are with the Wodrich family during this difficult time.
I will miss catching a smile and wave from Don as I settled into the pew behind him and Pat at church on Sunday mornings at Kennewick First. Sending prayers to the entire Wodrich family.
My Uncle Don was the best! He would bring my cousins & sweet Aunt Pat to Rapelje to visit us on the 4th of July. He would make my Dad & Uncle Bob stop working on the 4th so we could play baseball, make homemade ice cream & then shoot off fireworks! I dont think I would have known that the 4th of July was a Holiday without him – let alone such a fun one! He was so good to Mom & Dad as we got older. He has faithfully called dad (his ornery little brother) every couple of weeks to visit with him their whole lives until dad passed away a year ago. After his little brother was gone – Uncle Don would call Mom, his sister-in-law, just to check in with her. I won’t ever forget him.
Gary and I are very sad to hear about Don’s passing.
Gary and Leslie Stegen
I met the Wodrich family when my family moved to Kennewick in 1974. It seemed everyone in that family had the same friendly, easy going disposition. Don embodied integrity and honesty and was smiling and laughing every time I was around him. It was an honor to have known him.
It is difficult to say good bye to one of the finest men I have ever met. Don Wodrich was a friend, co-worker, inspiration, gentleman, and someone I looked up to. I knew Don through church and as a co-worker at /Hanford. His reputation was impeccable. He will be missed but not forgotten.
Don Wodrich was a hard-working wonderful man who brought joy to everyone by his kindness and reaching out to those who needed a helping hand and a kind word. He brought calm and clarity to all he associated with by his genuineness and humor. We are grateful he was in our lives as a friend, spiritual mentor and member of the Kennewick First Lutheran Church Family. We will miss him and continue to love him through our shared memories. Your families are in our thoughts and prayers. Dewey and Judy Robbins
Bob and I send our condolences to Jim and his family in the passing of his father. We enjoyed reading Donald’s obituary about his beautiful life. Rae Janzen
Uncle Don (Lefty), was an amazing man. It was alwas fun to listen and talk about family, history and his travels. The last time I was out there, he took me on a tour of Hanover. It was so interesting to see it; but it was one of my favorite memories as Don explained so much to me. Spending that day with just Don and Pat was truly an incredible day. I will miss him greatly! My Dad and him had the same smile. It’s wonderful to know they are togerther i heaven.
I was so sad to learn of Don’s passing from this life. He was a gentleman and kind man whose devotion and care giving for Pat was wonderful to see. He is wrapped in the arms of Jesus now.
Don was a wonderful man who made a lasting contribution to the public understanding of the cleanup challenges at Hanford. I worked closely with Don on several projects and admired him greatly.
I loved working with Don and going to church with him. He will be missed
Dear Wodrich family, I worked with Don for many years at the Hanford Site – he was such a wonderful guy. Don will be missed by many.
May God Bless his family,
Donald D Wodrich