In Memory of Major (RCAF) Kenneth James Rodzinyak
17 June 1961 – 25 November 2021
Kenneth J. Rodzinyak passed away suddenly, surrounded by loved ones, at the Ottawa Heart Institute on Thursday, November 25, 2021, at the age of 60.
Kenn is survived by Angela, his best friend and wife of 37 years, his precious daughters Kristyn, Daphne and Celina, his siblings Peggy, Bob (Esther), Tim (Ronalda), Janet (Tim), Dori, and Zan (Scott) and his brothers-in-law Karl (Jenny), Roland (Elaine), and Lothar. Kenn also leaves behind many nieces (11), nephews (6), grand nieces and nephews (20), cousins, and friends. He is predeceased by his parents, George and Muriel Rodzinyak, and his in-laws, Albert and Elsa Schmidt.
Kenn was born in Lethbridge, Alberta. He spent his early years playing sports, exploring the coulees, and running around being mischievous with his six siblings and many friends. He showed leadership qualities at a young age as captain of several of his sports teams and as president of the student council at Catholic Central High School (CCHS). He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1979 and graduated with Honours from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in 1983. A year later, he married his beloved wife, Angela, began his career, and started his family.
During his 35+ year career with the Canadian Armed Forces, Kenn accumulated nearly 4,000 flight hours as a maritime navigator, had the privilege of commanding at the crew, flight and unit level, completed operational and instructional flying tours on the east and west coasts of Canada, served out-of-country in Germany and the United States, and completed several staff tours. He was sponsored for post-graduate education at RMC (Master’s degree in War Studies (Space Law and Policy)) and the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. These educational experiences proved to be a turning point in his life and career, taking him down the path as a space operator and a member of the burgeoning Royal Canadian Air Force Space Cadre. He brought his passion for space into all aspects of his life, including waking his family up in the middle of the night to share different wonders of the night sky. He retired from the Regular Force on May 1, 2014, but continued to work as a reservist and ultimately became the Director Space Strategic Plans Force Generation Officer for the Director General Space.
Kenn’s energy and love for life were contagious. He found joy in all he did from going on walks and travelling to curling and playing pickleball, his most recent sport endeavors. Equally important to his sports and academic interests were his many creative outlets including yoga, dance, beekeeping, theatre, cooking, pottery, juggling, games and piano.
Kenn was devoted to his family and found pride in supporting his wife and daughters in their own pursuits and adventures. He often found very normal, but profound ways of bringing out the best in each person and situation. A voracious storyteller, it wasn’t unusual for his audience to be in tears of laughter by the end of a shared memory. Kenn never wasted a single moment of the time he was given on earth. He was full of energy and curiosity; everyday was an adventure to him. There was always something new to discover and some fun to be had.
Kenn’s impact on the lives of everyone who knew him cannot be put into words. His large personality, great love of family and friends, generosity and kindness were truly remarkable. Kenn was a vibrant person who was there for everyone in whatever they needed, be it first aid for the mind, body, heart, or soul.
Memorial services will be held in Ottawa, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.
Visitation: Friday, December 3 from 18:00 to 21:00 at the Heritage Funeral Complex, 1250 Trim Road.
Funeral service: Saturday, December 4 at 13:00 at the Good Shepherd Parish, 3092 Innes Road and can be virtually streamed by following this link:
Reception to follow: Saturday, December 4 from 14:30 to 17:00 at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess at 4 Queen Elizabeth Driveway
Date and location to be determined.