Rodney Dow Bither Sr.

08/16/1935 - 12/24/2015

Col. Rodney D. Bither Sr. (US Army Ret.), age 80, died Wednesday, December 24, 2015 at Banner Desert Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.  He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara Bither; three children: Rodney Bither, Jr.; Cynthia Goodwin and Steven Bither; two grandchildren: Jason Bither and Elizabeth Goodwin; one sister: Judy Drouin; two brothers: Ted Wing and Bobby Wing; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was born in Houlton, Maine, where he spent much of his childhood.  After joining the Army in 1952, serving nine years in the enlisted ranks, he became an Officer, graduating at the top of his Class from Officer Candidate School.  He served for 38 years, including two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot as well as a tour in Africa performing geological surveys.  Later in his career, he had the opportunity to fly the Apache Helicopter and was the Army’s representative for the acquisition of the Apache in Mesa.  He was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Ft. Benning, GA.

After retiring from the Army in 1990, he spent 10 years as a Project Manager helping deliver Apache training devices for The Boeing Company in Mesa, Arizona.

His time as an Army Aviator led to a lifetime love of flying.  He was an avid reader and also enjoyed spending time on the links with his golf buddies.  Those who knew Rod, even for a brief time, often drew inspiration from his words as well as his deeds.  Above all, he was a loving and selfless Husband, Father and Grandfather.

Services will be held at a date yet to be determined at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Condolences

  • I was lucky enough to meet and marry his daughter. Rod was a man that I respected and always tried to emulate. He was a kind and loving husband and father. A true American patriot that put family and country first. He will be missed and always remembered.

  • With Sympathy, and Love

  • With Sympathy and Love to the Family

  • What a beautiful man. So respected and loved. I am blessed and honored to be part of his life. I pray for Rod and his family. He will be missed. I love you all and loved Rod. God Bless.

  • Rod was always some one that I respected and admired and many times mentioned to him, “that when I grow up, I want to be just like you”, he would answer, be careful what you wish for! Many time we would go outside of the office at Boeing for a break, and I would just tagged along to hear one of his many fascinating stories. He was a wonderful story teller and the good part of all his stories, were they were all true. He was always a Man’s Man , a true Patriot, and in my eyes, will always be my hero. I see a lot of him in Steve as I am sure he has left a wonderful legacy with all of his family. God bless you and yours as I am sure you are all sad, but very proud of Rods many accomplishments and the love he has shared with you. As I have told him many times before, “when I grow up”……. Geno Deanda

  • Rod was an inspiration to me throughout my time with him with Boeing Training Systems. He was my friend and manager. He always looked for my opinion and respected it as well. He was a wonderful human being and his loss is saddening. He had many accomplishments and they should be remembered. A true patriot, and in my eyes also Geno, my hero! ……Allen Nowacki

  • Uncle Rodney treated me and my mother with great respect when I was 13 years old he gave me his metals which I still have always tried to get in touch with him when I was in the Arizona area but it seems so difficult it was one of the kindest and sweetest man I’ve ever known I didn’t know a lot of these past until I got older now that I’m 50 it means a lot more thank you uncle Rodney for giving me a path to greater things

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