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Katherine Jean Rodeffer

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Katherine Jean Rodeffer, 87, the wife of the Rev. Robert K. Rodeffer, a retired Elder, died Jan. 14. Her Celebration of Life service was held at Emmanuel UMC in Beltsville, Feb. 10.

Katherine Jean Bodmer Roddefer, known as Jean, was born Aug. 29, 1932, to Mary Katherine Shumate Bodmer and Gordon Augustus Bodmer. She grew up in Washington, D.C., attended Eastern High School and the University of Maryland, where she graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and English.

She taught at High Point High School until her marriage to the Rev. Robert Roddefer in 1955 and began her life as his partner in ministry. His ministerial career took them first to Seat Pleasant until 1962, when he was appointed to Trinity in Prince Frederick, 1962-67. This was followed by Hamline, 1967-70, First UMC in Lanham, 1970-76; and Grace UMC in Gaithersburg from 1976 to 1990.  In 1990, he was appointed District Superintendent and served two terms until his retirement in 1998.

Wherever they were, she became involved in the United Methodist Women, teaching Sunday School, directing a children’s choir and other ministries. She was also active outside the church, as a substitute teacher, nursery school teacher, and in organizations such as the Free State Doll Study Club and the Beltsville Young-at-Heart Club. She always found time to attend her children’s and grandchildren’s concerts, special programs, awards ceremonies, athletic events and graduations.

In spite of a cancer diagnosis in 2015, Roddefer continued to live her life fully, taking multiple cruises (one two weeks before her death), attending UMD Women’s Basketball games, club meetings and church activities.

Survivors are her husband of 62 years, daughters, Kathy Rodeffer (Gretchen), Carolyn Rodeffer, and Mary Ann Vaughan (Michael); and seven grandchildren.