John "Jack" Roddick
Jack Roddick, 97, died in Shippensburg on July 14, 2018.
Jack began his amazing life on May 2, 1921 in Baltimore and then was raised on the family farm near Newville, PA. After serving in the Army Air Corps, he graduated from Shippensburg State Teachers College in 1947. Jack taught and coached at Swatara High School where he met his wife, Arlene.
From 1951 to 1953, both his track and football teams won multiple conference championships. He received a master’s degree from Bucknell University. In 1954, Jack returned to Shippensburg to teach physical science and astronomy as well as to coach football and track at the college. His track teams had an undefeated stretch of 43 dual or triple meets, and the 1958 team won the PSAC. On the gridiron, his undefeated 1957 team was conference co-champion. After retirement from coaching football, he took up the duties of cameraman for the Red Raiders. Over the years of coaching and filming, Jack missed just one Shippensburg game in 43 years.
In 1980, Jack spearheaded the development of what is now named the Dibert/Roddick Planetarium, which he directed for over 40 years. During that time, he produced hundreds of programs sharing his love of the stars with thousands of visitors. His Christmas and Easter shows were a holiday tradition for many.
Jack and Arlene took many trips, covering most of the United States, first by motorcycle and later in their motorhome. They also traveled to Europe and Asia. Over the course of his life, Jack made many friends in the worlds of motorcycle and bicycle riding, competitive Frisbee (setting many age world records while winning multiple world titles), coaching, and stargazing. He was a member of the Shippensburg Presbyterian Church as well as the Shippensburg Historical Society, the Tri-State Astronomers Club, and both the Pennsylvania State and the Shippensburg University Sports Halls of Fame.
Jack spent his last years of life at the Episcopal Home in Shippensburg, where he was blessed with loving care and friendship.
Surviving is his son Dan Roddick and wife, Janet, of Pasadena, California, as well as three grandchildren, Tyler (Kasumi) Roddick, Shannon (Bill) Ford and Brian (Laurin) Capanna, five great-grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. Jack’s wife, Arlene, preceded him in death in 2010.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Jack’s life at the United Presbyterian Church, 12 S. Prince Street, Shippensburg, PA at 11 am on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
The SU Foundation, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 for the Jack and Arlene Red Raider Football/Red Raider Track Scholarship or online at www.sufoundation.org.
Donations may also be made to the Episcopal Home, 206 E. Burd Street, Shippensburg, PA 17257 or online at episcopalhome.com.