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How do you write the end of the story about the man that touched so many lives in his short 81 years on this earth? Well I guess it begins, Rodney Lee Flood, fell asleep for the last time on this earth at 10:30 a.m. at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Rodney's life began on what I can bet was a warm spring day with blue skies, wispy white clouds, sweet fragrant flowers blooming and birds singing on April 30, 1934, in Blackwell the son of John Wesley Flood and Wenona Mae Medler Flood. How could they have even imagined that the tiny baby they held in their arms would one day greatly impact so many people. He was born at Blackwell Hospital and raised on the family farm in Blackwell and later moved with his family to Ponca City where he graduated from Ponca City High School in 1952. While at Po-Hi he played the French horn in the high school band. He attended Phillips University from 1952-53. In 1953, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he worked in communications. While in the Marine's he served in Korea and Lebanon. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 1957. In 1957, while on leave from the Marine Corps, he went swimming in late August at Wentz Pool in Ponca City and met the love of his life, Donna Colleen Jones. Donna's car had broke down and being always of the helping nature and like the knight in shinning armor he was (of course it helped that she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in her golden swimming suite) he came to aid Donna in her distress. I'm sure it was love at first sight as they were married three weeks later on Sept. 6, 1957.
He always worked hard for his family putting in long hours no matter what but was always eager to come home to Donna's cooking, she jokingly says, "No matter what it was". He and Donna first lived in Ponca City and they both attended classes at Northern Oklahoma College from 1957-59. They enjoyed every second of each other their first two years of marriage. They later moved to Foraker and then to Stillwater where he attended Oklahoma State University from 1959-60. He had additional training at the Federal Aviation Agency in Oklahoma City, Texas Instruments and at LTV Electro Systems in Dallas, Texas. In August of 1959, their lives changed forever, their daughter Rhonda was born with cerebral palsy and the years of therapy and tears and joy and pain brought Rodney and Donna even closer as they traveled to numerous locations trying to help their quadriplegic daughter walk - all the while the professionals were telling them to institutionalize her and be done. But they never gave up on her and Rodney never wavered, he stayed by Donna and his little girl's side through all the painstakingly difficult times. The family moved to Oklahoma City where he was employed with the Federal Aviation Agency, Will Rogers Field, where he worked with full range airborne electronic and electric systems. While in this position he made an employee suggestion that saved the FFA $9,678.29 in parts in the first month's work. The suggestion is still in use to this day. The family then moved to the Dallas area when he secured employment with Texas Instruments in 1964. In this position he was a senior electronics technician requiring him to know all aspects of integrated circuit technology from the beginning of the process to the final device. During this time their son Mark was born in 1966. In 1967, he became a senior electronics technician for LTV Electro-Systems in Dallas. In 1968 the family moved back to Ponca City and he was employed with Continental Oil where he was an electrical chemical technician. While at Continental Oil he submitted 15 patents and had one granted. In 1972, the family moved to Garland, Texas where he was employed for Varo Semiconductor, Inc. At Varo he worked as an engineer. In 1975 they moved back to Ponca City and he owned and operated R F Electric where he worked as an electrician in many fields repairing heavy machinery and electronic systems in generating plants, oil refineries, machine shops, foundries and dairies. Their third and last child, Kay, was born in 1975. In 1985, the family moved to Garland, Texas where he was employed for E Systems as a metrology engineer in the reliability and quality department. This position required a broad knowledge of electronic and electro-mechanical test equipment procedures and calibration techniques. In 1986 they moved back to Ponca City to care for Donna's ailing father. During this time he worked for General Electric as a calibration technician for all electric and electronic systems for testing jet turbofan engines. From 1987 to 1991, he again operated R F Electric. In 1991 he was employed and later retired from being the City Electrical Inspector for the City of Ponca City. In 2006 he worked part-time, to pass the time, as an electrician for Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa and worked there until 2012 when he could no longer work because of progressing Alzheimer's.
He was a devout Jehovah's Witness and had an extraordinary love for his faith and his father Jehovah God. He lead his home through example in his acts of leadership, kindness, mercy, patience and love.
There are no words that can express the many hats he wore in his lifetime, not to mention the superior knowledge he had of being able to work on or fix anything he set his mind to.
But first and foremost he was the best husband, father and grandfather anyone could ever even imagine to have. He had a love for his children and wife that far surpassed any imaginable love. And he expressed that love on a daily basis as he worked hard to care for his three children including his handicapped daughter who lived her lifetime in the home. You certainly can't mention his name though, without talking about the love he had for his grandchildren, he loved and cared for them as much as he did his own children, as a matter of fact, they can tell you that he cherished each and every one of them beyond all measure, they truly were the jewels of his eye. But not only that, with so much eager and zeal he filled the shoes as an amazing son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, father-in-law and friend. Above and beyond the deep love he had for his family, anyone that ever met him can attest to the fact that if you needed anything at all, and he had the power to give it to you, he would or he would find a way. He was such a kind soul and that presence was marked by his calm, kind and caring demeanor. He had so much love for life you could see the glimmer in his eyes and then there was that special wink and that ever so dashing smile. People and children of all ages were drawn to his kind and sweet nature, children he knew well would run to him yelling, "Grampa Grampa come and play!" Even strangers on the street were eager to shake his hand and share a greeting in his home town, Ponca City. But honestly he never really met a stranger.
He leaves behind so many that are so sadden by his passing including the love of his life, Donna; one son, Mark Flood and girlfriend Christi Stephenson, of Ponca City; two daughters, Rhonda Flood, of the home and Kay Flood Bojorquez, of Ponca City and her boyfriend Shawn Shelton, of Kaw City; one brother, John Flood and wife Veronica DeNeve, of San Antonio, Texas. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, Magen Besen, of Wichita, Kan.; Alicia Ward and husband Luke Ward, of Tonkawa; Ross Flood and Anna Flood, both of Ponca City; and Elizebeth Bojorquez and her boyfriend Jesse Holt and Bryce Bojorquez, all of Ponca City; he also had five great-grandchildren, Klayton Delano and Leevi Ward, both of Tonkawa; Kambri Parker, MarCelle Taylor and Cainaan Taylor, all of Wichita, Kan. Extended family on Donna's side are also grief stricken by his departure including those he considered his own, sister-in-law, Esther Epperson, of Ponca City; three brothers-in-law, Anthony Rodriguez, of California; Alvin and wife Patricia Jones, of Stillwater and Danny Jones, of Kaw City; former daughter-in-law, Kathey Flood, of Ponca City; former son-in-law, Baraquiel Bojorquez-Loya, of Blackwell and numerous extended family members including nieces, nephews and cousins, whom he all cherished.
Those that went before him include and await a resurrection to life are his parents and his mother-and father-in-law, Lee Otis Jones and Velma Louise Pensoneau Jones who treated him like their own; and brothers-in-law he considered his own, Paul Jones, Arnold Jones and Mike Jones; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
When his light left this earth, he left behind so many that will miss that radiant light; but, we are at peace knowing that his light will shine eternally within us and within our memories of a great man taken away from us way too soon, even at the age of 81.
Today, our hearts ache as he laid his head down and now is fast asleep. He's in your care now, Jehovah God, and you know how very special he is, so we can be at peace knowing you have wrapped your arms around him and give us hope to see him in a new day. We love you around the universe and back - until we meet again.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Ponca City.
Family will be at the home at 95 Quail Ridge, Ponca City.
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