Age 78 of Blaine, MN passed away on October 27, 2021. Rod was born in Grafton, ND, on June 22, 1943. He was active in high school sports and graduated from Grafton, In 1961. He worked on the farm beside his father, Leonard, and continued his education at Valley City State, and UND, where he earned his BS, and MS degrees from UND. He worked as a professor in the field of education at the University of Alaska while pursuing his Doctorate degree. Upon returning to ND, he achieved that degree from UND. While he lived in Grand Forks, he met and married his first love, Kathy Knoff DeSautel, in 1979. They had Scott and Tom, moved to Fargo, and lived happily for almost ten years. At that time, the cruelty of cancer took Kathy from them.
Rod continued his education at MSU, in Moorhead, to earn his administrative licensure, while working as a professor in the Education department. He began his career as an Elementary Principal in Baudette, MN. It was there that he met Barb and her kids, Katelyn and Adam. They fell in love and married in 1994, bringing two single-parent families of three, to one blended family of six. In 1998, they moved to the Twin Cities area, where Rod took his second and final position of Elementary Principal, at Pullman Elementary, in St Paul Park. He retired in 2007, and when Barb retired in 2010, they began their leisure life by wintering in Mesa, Az.
Rod had a strong passion for everything, that included his kids, and a spontaneous life with Barb. He enjoyed cruising and vacationing throughout his life. Rod will be remembered for his perseverance, determination, and his huge soft heart.
Preceded in death by parents, Leonard & Theresa; wife, Kathy; mother & father-in-law, Elfie & Ed Skaalrud; brother-in-law, Bruce Skaalrud. Survived by wife, Barbara; children, Scott (Kristen), Thomas (Anne), Katelyn (Adam) Dick, Adam Stewart; mother-in-law, Clara Knoff & the Knoff family; grandchildren, Savannah, Drew, Ellyn, Linnea, Gus, Harley & Vivienne; sister, Sharon (Robert) Larson & the Larson family; beloved Boston Terrier, Howie; nieces, nephews, other relatives & friends.