Rodney James Wadsley was born August 18, 1956, at the Buena Vista Hospital in Storm Lake, Iowa, the fourth child of Richard Mahlon and Rose Lee Eldridge Wadsley. He passed peacefully in his sleep, after a brief illness, on September 12, 2021, at Black Hawk Life Care Center in Lake View, Iowa.
Rodney grew up and lived all his life on the family farm near Early, Iowa, which was purchased in 1888 and where both his grandfather, Meryl Wadsley, and his father were born and reared. There he raised corn and soybeans and farmed other land. He also worked as a machinist at Hawkeye Fabrication in Ida Grove. In 1974, he graduated from Crestland High School in Early, followed by a degree in mechanics from Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg.
“Grandpa Rod” was well known as an excellent mechanic and machinist who worked on farm machinery and built trailers. A pilot for small aircraft, he also loved motorcycles, rebuilt and accessorized them, and rode them for pleasure. This love was shared with his late brother Richard, brother Robert, late nephew Nathan, and nephew Benjamin Hudson who was started on that path when Rod gave him his old Honda to fix up.
Many people remember Rodney as easy-going, easy to talk to, and well versed in many subjects. Well read and informed by Internet research, he was known for his strength and quiet, agreeable personality and was beloved by all who knew him. He liked to garden and cook and enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing, and Southern Rock music. He made sure the farm’s cats were well cared for and one of his favorites, Mew, liked to go hunting with him. Rodney loved children and was a child at heart.
Rodney was preceded in death by his parents, infant sister Rachel, brother Richard, nephew Nathan, and step-nephew Alex Tellefsen. He is survived by sisters, Rebecca Strange of Phoenix, AZ, and Roberta (Greg) Hudson of Chillicothe, IL, and brother, Robert (Barbara) Wadsley of Linn Grove, IA; sister-in-law Deborah Torrence Wadsley; nieces and nephews Matthew Strange, Anathea Strange, Nicole Wadsley Schroeder, Alexander Wadsley, Andrew (Leslie) Hudson, Nicholas Hudson, Benjamin Hudson, and step-nephew David Tellefsen; great nephews and nieces Blaine Kingery, Parker Schroeder, Brinlee Schroeder, and Harper Wadsley. He leaves to mourn many family and friends.