Rodney Evert "Rod" Gage, 78, of Palmdale, Calif., died Monday, April 7, 2008, in Lancaster, Calif.

He was born June 2, 1929, in Elgin, Ill., to Everett and Virginia Gage. He was raised in Iowa, attended the Missouri Military Academy for four years and served in the Iowa National Guard.

He married Bess Gage, who survives.

In 1952, he relocated to California. During the 1950s, he worked at Solar Aircraft in the San Fernando Valley. In the 1970s, he was senior engineer for Data Products in Woodland Hills. He patented an endless track belt adapted for use on track-laying vehicles such as snowmobiles. He also designed an ultra-light aircraft, and in the 1980s, had a small factory in Van Nuys where they were designed and built. Before his retirement, he was a manufacturing engineer for Waste King Universal.

Family members said they referred to him as "Pops." He enjoyed a spirited debate, and was interested in many different things, especially general aviation, electronics, ultra-light aircraft and computers.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons; two daughters; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Visitation and a memorial service were held April 10 in Lancaster.

A graveside service and vault interment will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Greenwood Cemetery in Astoria.

Memorial contributions may be given to the American Lung Association, in care of Caldwell's Luce-Layton Mortuary, 1165 Franklin Ave., Astoria, OR 97103.

To plant a tree in memory of Rodney Gage as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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