Cover photo for Walter Earl Rodda Jr.'s Obituary
Walter Earl Rodda Jr. Profile Photo
1944 Walter 2023

Walter Earl Rodda Jr.

November 29, 1944 — December 8, 2023

Walter Earl Rodda Jr., 79, a true Floridian through and through, from Orange Park, passed away on December 8, 2023. Born in the warm embrace of Orange Park, Earl's life was a vibrant journey across Florida, with an adventurous chapter in Washington State. A member of the last generation of true Florida Cowboys. Earl spent the summers of his childhood working with his cousins on his grandfather's cattle ranch. A fervent enthusiast of bowling and golf, Earl's spirit found a natural home in bowling leagues and even the P.B.A., where he spent many years perfecting his game and forming lasting friendships. His love for these sports was more than a pastime; it was a reflection of his zest for life. Earl's most endearing legacy, however, lies in the 13 years he devoted to his petting farm and summer camp, Old McMicky's Farm and Camp Keystone. Here, his initial grumpy demeanor, reminiscent of a certain fairy tale dwarf, quickly gave way to reveal a heart as big and warm as Florida itself. To the children and adults who experienced the magic of his camp, he was affectionately known as "Mr. Earl," a title that spoke of respect, fondness, and the special place he held in their hearts. His career path was as diverse as the Florida landscape, encompassing roles in insurance, cable installation, indoor soccer fields, bowling alleys, and feed stores. But above all, Earl cherished his role as a family man, taking immense pride in being a father and grandfather. He is survived by his sons Rob (Denise) Rodda of St. Augustine, Seann (Valerie) Rodda of Jesup, GA, and Scott (Sara) Rodda of Orlando, FL, along with his daughter Amanda Rodda (Jeff Stewart) of Longview, WA. Earl also leaves behind 9 beloved grandchildren, extended family members, and countless friends. Earl's grumpy yet golden-hearted persona made every encounter with him memorable. Deep down, he always had a smile to share, brightening the lives of those around him. His family finds comfort in knowing he's now in a place where he can enjoy endless bowling and golfing. Earl "Grumpy" Rodda Jr. will be dearly missed, but his legacy will live on in the many lives he touched and in the fond memories shared by all who knew "Mr. Earl."
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