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Rodney Bruce “Rod” Wolfarth, age 71, of Rockford, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at his home under the loving care of his family and Spectrum Health Hospice.  The son of Harry & Patricia (Moon) Wolfarth, Rod was born October 16, 1948 in Grove City, Pennsylvania.  Rod graduated from Fox Chapel High in 1966.  He went on to the University of Pittsburgh to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1970 and a Master of Science Degree in 1972.

Rod began his career in Forensic Science in Michigan at the Department of Health, and later at Michigan State Police (MSP) Crime Laboratory in 1972.  Rodney also served as an Adjunct Professor of Forensic Science at Grand Valley State University for 23 years. He retired from the Michigan State Police in 2004 and began a second career in forensics with The Commonwealth of Virginia, Criminal Justice Services in Roanoke, Virginia.  Rod fully retired in 2013.

On September 17, 1977, in Okemos, he married Joana E. Carpenter and together they enjoyed 42 years of marriage and raised two children.  Rod enjoyed reading, travel, photography, swimming, games, and spending time with family.  Rod was a long–time fan of the University of Pittsburgh “Pitt Panthers”, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Pittsburgh Pirates.  Rod kept his Christian faith close to his heart and enjoyed the parables taught by Christ.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry & Patricia (Moon) Wolfarth;  his brother, Michael Wolfarth;  and a sister-in-law, Georgia Carpenter.  Rod is survived by his wife, Joana; a son, Ronald Dale Wolfarth; a daughter Lindsay Anne (Steve) Malon; one grandchild, Jonathan Wolfarth, and three step-grandchildern,  Eli, Stella, and Heath Malon; his siblings,  Kaaren (Wolfarth) Sturgeon, Christopher Wolfarth, Janice (Wolfarth) O’Hagan;  siblings-in-law, Dennis Carpenter, Kristine Guthrie, Deborah Carpenter, Karen  (Gary) Glidden, and Greg (Vicki) Carpenter;  and many nieces and nephews.

The family invites relatives and friends to celebrate Rod’s life from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Rod & Joana’s home.  Honoring his wishes, private family services will be held at Glendale Cemetery near Okemos.  Instead of flowers, Rod would appreciate contributions to San Francisco City Impact and City Impact Cedar Springs.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Rod’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.


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4 Condolences

  1. bill ruhf on January 24, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Dear Joana and family,
    I had the distinct pleasure of working with Rod here in G.R. when I joined the lab in 1989. Our (his and mine) journey bear some unique similarities also. I too graduated from Pitt with my MS degree in Forensic Science. My first job after graduation took me to Roanoke to work where Rod finished his career. I always enjoyed Rod’s laughter and camaraderie he shared with all of us here in G.R.

    I pray that Yahweh’s Peace may settle upon you at this time through the ever present help of His Holy Spirit.

  2. Larry Culbertson on January 25, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Hello Joanna, I did not know you were living in Rockford now, I am in Muskegon area and would have come to visit you and Rod. I remember our flight to Pittsburgh back in the mid 70s. Quite an experience, meeting Rods parents there also. I recall my ride on Rod’s 360 Yamaha Enduro in the parking lot. My first and last on that type of bike. So sorry to hear about Rod’s passing. Wife and I are in Holiday Florida for the winter, back in Michigan first of May. If you ever get down here during the winter, please contact me.

  3. Ralph Boudreau, Jr. (Retired MSP Trooper) on January 25, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Rod I did not know you however I pray that the Good Lord is holding you and your family close. You in forensic sciences were the behind the scene Hero’s that help us road Troops put the puzzles together in our investigations. Thank
    you for your MSP service, you made a major contribution to this Great State.

  4. Rob Clark, FCHS, class of '66 on January 26, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I am very sorry to hear of Rod’s passing. We were in band together at FCHS, both playing baritone horn. We became good friends outside of school as well and did a lot together. Softball, touch football, miniature golf, and just hanging out with him at the soda counter at Erwin’s Pharmacy where he worked. I was so glad that we were able to reconnect on Facebook.

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