Thomas Edward Rodman
February 2, 1931 – May 21, 2020
Thomas E. Rodman (Tom), beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and lover of all things meteoritical, died peacefully in Austin, Texas on May 21, 2020. He was 89 years old.
Tom was born on February 2, 1931 in McCamey, Texas to E.G. and Faye (Hummel) Rodman in the midst of the great depression. Tom’s family moved from McCamey to Odessa in 1932, and Tom became a lifelong resident of Odessa. Tom loved West Texas and used to say he was bilingual speaking both English and West Texan. Upon graduation from Odessa High in 1948, Tom enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. There he became a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and a member of the Texas Cowboys, and made many life-long friends. Upon graduation in 1952. Tom attended the University of Texas Law School graduating in 1955.
While in law school Tom met Nancy Ritter, an undergraduate at the University. They were married on September 22, 1954. Tom and Nancy were lifelong companions, traveling the world and enjoying the best of many cultures.
After becoming a Texas attorney in 1955, Tom enlisted in the Army and reported to Fort Ord, California for basic training. Tom was then assigned to Headquarters, Far East Command in Tokyo Japan where his duties included intelligence gathering on behalf of the command. Nancy accompanied Tom both to Fort Ord and Tokyo. Their first son, Robert, was born in Tokyo.
Receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1957, Tom and Nancy returned to Odessa where they grew their family and became active in the community. Tom went to work for his family’s oil and gas business. He was also active in the Ector County Bar Association, serving as President in 1964, the Chamber of Commerce, the Crystal Ball Foundation, and local politics. Tom also formed a law partnership with the former Attorney General of Texas, John Ben Sheppard. While Nancy occupied herself raising their, now, three sons, and staying active in the Junior Service League, Odessa Garden Club and Crystal Ball Foundation.
In 1962, Tom founded the Odessa Meteoritical Society for the purpose of promoting the Odessa Meteor Crater as a scientific and tourist attraction. In 1965, Tom, with the assistance of his law partner and former Attorney General John Ben Shepperd, had the crater designated a natural landmark by the National Park Service. The Odessa Meteor Crater was the first site in Texas so designated. In 1968 Tom hosted the International Meteoritical Society meeting in Odessa and scientists came from around the world to tour the crater and hear lectures on meteoritics. In 2002, through Tom’s efforts, with the help of Rep. Buddy West and Speaker Tommy Craddick, Tom was successful in getting a museum built at the Crater with participation by The State of Texas and Ector County. Tom continued to serve as President of the Odessa Meteoritical Society, now Meteor Crater Friends, until 2020.
Tom remained active in the oil business his entire life; from his high school jobs for Rodman Supply Company, cleaning and painting oil field equipment, to serving as an officer and legal counsel in The Rodman Corporation. He was also engaged in local, state and national politics, serving as campaign treasurer and fundraiser for a number of candidates. Tom and Nancy were avid travelers, and, along with their many friends, visited Europe, Africa, South America and the Far East. Tom also had a love of the Monahans Sandhills and sand surfed into his early eighties.
Tom’s love for the University, Phi Kappa Psi and The Cowboys were lifelong passions. Tom and Nancy were also residents of Austin, and regular attendees at UT football games, reunions and tailgates and were known as avid water skiers up and down Lake Austin.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Jean and Nancy Jane. He is survived by his wife Nancy Ann, three sons, Robert E. Rodman (Lisa Fowler), Thomas E. Rodman, Jr. (Cecily Camilleri) and James A. Rodman (Amy Ramm), his brother Earl and his wife Shirley. Brother-in-law Robert H. Ritter (Marcella). Eight grandchildren, Alison Rodman Corrigan (DeWitt), Catherine Rodman Paget (Scott), Robert “Bo” Rodman, Christopher Rodman, James Rodman, Matthew Rodman, Emma Rodman, Jack Rodman, and three great grandchildren DeWitt Corrigan, Jr., Fowler Francis Corrigan, and Will Paget. And many nephews and nieces, including Dr. Robert H. Ritter of Amarillo, Texas.
The Rodman family gives special thanks Stella Armstrong and Nick Wheeler, and the caregivers at Brookdale Northwest Hills, and Brookdale Hospice and Jennifer Moxham for their loving care of Tom. Donations in Tom’s honor can be made to Meteor Crater Friends, 3410 Far West Blvd, Suite 275, Austin, TX 78731.
Services will be private, pending a larger celebration of Tom’s life in the future.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Thomas Edward Rodman
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Leslie Banister Maguire
May 27, 2020
Sharing in your sadness as you remember Tom. My thoughts and prayers are with the Rodman family during this time of grief.
May 25, 2020
When I was undergraduate member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at UT during the late 70s Tom was our biggest alumni supporter. He always came by the house and checked on us, gave us encouragement, helped us any way he could. Everybody looked-up to him and had so much respect - he was a giant at Texas Alpha!
May 24, 2020
Tom, Robert and Jimmy, so sorry to hear of your Fathers death. You are in our prayers
May 24, 2020
Just learned today of Tom's passing.....I am thinking of Nancy and their boys today.....Tom was a great "Big Brother"to me as a pledge of Phi Kappa Psi in 1953, and a lifelong friend after that time....I like to think I had some small part in Tom & Nancy's meeting and courtship. I know Nancy and the rest of Tom's family will have many great memories to help them through this time.
Ray McKim, III
May 24, 2020
To Nancy and Family . My condolences to a fine man, my dad’s fraternity brother, our neighbor in Odessa.
A very good friend And advisor to my dad especially during the his time as a judge. Tom was an advisor to me during my early days as a young Landman. Betty and I enjoyed a visit in Austin at the lake.
Always a gentleman. One of my favorite role male role models. I miss my dad, mom, tom and many other Longhorns. Sincerely,
‘Little Ray” McKim
Cherie Nolan Rinehart
May 24, 2020
I worked for Tom for 20 years. I will be forever in his debt for teaching me about the big wide world of community, politics and life in general. I was young and rather naive. He was one of the biggest influences in my life, thank you Tom, you will be missed! Thinking of Earl, Nancy and the boys. Many sympathies and love!
May 22, 2020
This life story is so beautiful, and aptly details a life well lived. Now I have a better understanding of why my buddy Jimmy Rodman has such a great outlook on life, and a glimpse of where it comes from. I am so happy i got to meet your dad and chat for a few minutes., Jimmy--what a charming gentleman. I am sorry you lost him, but I am happy you and your whole family grew up with such a man. Hugs and hope you are comforted by many happy memories. Xox lisa and steve
May 21, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Our families go way back together through the decades through business, social, political and charity work activities.
Tom was such a fun, giving and full of life person! I used to play tennis with him at the Odessa Country Club and later In Austin when I was at UT. He also helped to recruit me to join the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity of which he was a valuable and active alumni member. Lots of good memories of him and your family!
Rick Dianne Matthew Katherine and Zoe Ann McManigle