Rodney Delano Bagley, 88, died on April 13, 2023, at his home in Windsor, Vermont. Born in Ogden, Utah, October 2, 1934, to Rodney F. and Vivian (Jensen) Bagley. He is survived by his wife, Alice (Grover), brother, Jerry Bagley, and sister, Marilyn Warner. He was passed on by his brother, Red Bagley. Rod and Alice had seven daughters: Anne (Stephen Hardy), Pamela, Carol Lane, Amy “Rebecca” (the late Michael Butters), Sarah (Alan Vail), Susan (Benjamin Cowell), and Laura (Stephen Harris), and nine grandchildren (Rachel, Matthew, and Emily Hardy; Rowan, Ellie, and Ian Fell Lydia, Eliza, and Jonas Bagley Quill).
Rod was the eldest of 4 children. He grew up near apricot and cherry orchards and remembers picking cherries with the stems down for 3 cents/pound. He worked summer jobs lightening sugar beets, hauling grain near the Golden Spike Monument, working in a tomato cannery, doing construction work, and working in the city of Ogden. He spent much of his free time in his early years fly fishing, hunting with rifles and bow and arrows, and fiddling with vintage cars.
Rudd attended Ogden High School where he was a ROTC officer and member of the judo team. He received a Browning Scholarship from the University of Utah in Mining Engineering where he earned ROTC top honors as a freshman for having the highest GPA. He was a member of the Utah Military Association, Pershing Rifles, and Drill Team. At the age of 18, he joined the Army Reserve and was a reservist for eight years.
Rod loved working two years for the Forest Service surveying new roads and hauling old roads in the mountains of Idaho and Utah. He loved the combination of camaraderie, fishing, and civil engineering.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Utah, he continued his graduate studies at the University of Utah earning a Ph. D. in ceramic engineering and mineralogy in 1964.
Rudd met Alice Grover in 1959. They married in 1960 at the Salt Lake City LDS Temple and celebrated 62 years of marriage the previous September.
In 1963, Rod accepted a job at Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) in upstate New York as a researcher, where he worked until his retirement in 1994. Rod invented the method for making the cellular ceramic core of the catalytic converter used in automobiles. His colleagues Ron Lewis and Irv Lachman invented the ceramic substrate. His process is still in use 50 years later and has reduced emissions and lead pollution (because it removed lead from the gas) far enough to achieve the goal of the Clean Air Act. He holds 17 named patents, and has received numerous awards: the American Society for Metallurgical Engineering Materials Achievement Award, the National Medal of Technology from then-President Bush, Mountain Man of the Year (University of Utah), and International Ceramics. Award, the Samuel Geijsbeek (American Ceramic Society) Award, and he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.
Rod was very supportive of his daughters’ education and was proud that they all had college degrees and most had advanced degrees. Rod instilled a strong work ethic, overseeing a large vegetable garden including his prized asparagus patch. Favorite family memories include watching slide shows (using actual slides!), listening to Rod’s stories, and taking family trips across the country in a crowded station wagon. The family still enjoys gathering as much as possible for holidays, birthdays, and yard/house work days.
Rod will be remembered for his tough workmanship. In the early 1970s, when his growing family needed a new home, he painstakingly drew house plans and built an outbuilding. With help from his family, he finished the house, including the kitchen and dining room cabinetry and built-in closets in all of the bedrooms. He was particularly proud of pouring a 100-foot cement driveway with Alice and the girls, using a cement mixer, wheelbarrow, and pellets. Alice and Rod raised their family in the Corning, New York area. They moved to Windsor, Vt. in 2006 to live near their daughters.
Rod was known for his generosity with his building skills. In the 1970s, some friends’ dairy barn burned down, and Rudd oversaw the rebuilding of the barn. He and other volunteers spent six months during the frigid New York winter, working evenings and Saturdays to complete everything from laying concrete blocks to installing electrical, plumbing, siding, and roofing. The completion of the barn was celebrated with a barn dance and a plate to pass the diner, a rod type of entertainment. Throughout his life, he has done countless acts of service to family, friends, and strangers.
Rod embraced a wide range of intense interests, including fly tying, cycling, photography, foraging for mushrooms, photography, and storytelling. In his forties, Rudd discovered a passion that would follow him for the rest of his life: making violins, violas, cellos, and bows. He and Alice spent many summers at the University of New Hampshire, Oberlin College, and in Tucson, Arizona, attending violin and bowmaking master classes. Rod loved listening to music and especially enjoyed hearing his daughters and grandchildren play the instruments he had built.
Rod was a life member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served a church mission for two years in Alabama and Florida. He said if you haven’t listened to Mormon missionaries, you should invite them! Rod loved Bible study and was a beloved speaker and Sunday school teacher for teens and adults.
The family would like to thank the staff at Jack Byrne Palliative Care, Hospice and Elderly Care Center in Biyada for their excellent and kind care.
Services will be held Saturday, May 13, 2023, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ascotney, Vermont with visiting hours at 9 a.m. and funeral at 10 a.m. (ET). Knight Funeral Home of Windsor, VT Charged for Services. For those who cannot attend, the service will be broadcast live, link available via his obituary at www.knightfuneralhomes.com