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Obituary: Rodney van Son

Rodney van Son obituary

Published on November 29, 2017 12:01AM

Rodney van Son

Rodney van Son

Ilwaco, Washington

Aug. 3, 1940 — Nov. 17, 2017

Rodney (Rod) van Son, age 77, of Ilwaco, Washington, passed away on Nov. 17, 2017. He was born on Aug. 3, 1940, in Great Falls, Montana, to Frits and Jean van Son.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Gwen, in 2015. His parents, Frits and Jean van Son, and his sister, Holly, also preceded him in death.

He is survived by his children, Kathryn (Mark) Lacy, Michael (Lois) van Son, Jessica van Son and John van Son. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as his dear companion, his cat, Izzy.

Rod attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where he played clarinet in the concert band. He then joined the Navy, where he was stationed on the USS Herbert J. Thomas, DD-833, and trained in marine electronics.

He married Gwen in Great Falls, Montana, on June 3, 1961. They moved quite a bit during his naval career and settled in Bellevue, Washington. They moved to the Long Beach Peninsula in 1979, where he opened his own business, Rod’s Marine Electronics.

In addition to being a marine electronics technician, he also served as an Ilwaco volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. In his later years, he was a bus driver and mechanic for the Ocean Beach School District and Knappa (Oregon) School District.

Rod enjoyed volunteering his ham operator services for the amateur radio emergency services. He also enjoyed writing, and was proud to share it with others. Rod will be remembered by his family and friends for his sense of humor, his love of children, his love of music, and for being a great dad.

A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Seaview, Washington. A rosary will precede the Mass at 12:30 p.m.

His guest book is available at


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