Rodney "Rod" Comiel DeReu, 93, of Stillwater MN, passed away peacefully on August 14,
Rod was born on April 29,1930 to Mel and Fern (McCall) DeReu in Garretson SD. Rod joined the MN National Guard while attending Pipestone High School and graduated in 1948. He completed officers training in Fort Benning, GA. After school, Rod held down several jobs, including construction, farming alongside his Dad and working in a bakery. He was an avid baseball player and continued playing as a young man and for several years while raising his family.
Rod married his high school sweetheart, Mary Louise Hauk on December 30,1950 and went on to have 8 children.
After several years of dairy and crop farming in the southern Minnesota area, in 1966, Rod and Mary moved their family to Stillwater MN. Rod worked at the Stillwater Correctional Facility, kick-starting a 27-year career in corrections. Rod was involved in various activities at the prison; sponsoring several events each year. Those who worked under him would describe Rod as fair, disciplined and a problem solver. He retired in 1993 as the Captain and took away many memories of a great career.
Rod was a part of the Minnesota National Guard with a long career that spanned over 35 years. He retired from the MN National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also was an active member of the Bayport American Legion and Knights of Columbus.
Before and after retirement, Rod spent his time golfing, gardening, traveling with Mary and working crossword puzzles. Since you can't take the country out of the man, Rod had a small farm outside of Stillwater for many years and raised cattle as a hobby. Rod was a worker at heart and worked as a part time driver for Valley Dental in Stillwater for several years after retiring from the prison.
He loved to bird watch and capture squirrels in his yard that he would drive to the country, only to find the same squirrels back in his yard. Rod had a great sense of humor, teasing his children and grandchildren endlessly. His smile was warm and contagious, and he was the best advisor to those who loved him.
Rod was predeceased by both his parents, Mel and Fern (McCall) DeReu, sister June Rogers, son in law Robert Deitrick and most recently, his life-long sweetheart and wife of 72 years, Mary.
He is survived by his children, Gayle Johnson (Kent) of Maplewood, Marcia DeReu of St. Paul, Rhonda Deitrick of Burlington, IA, Linda Marshall (Scott) of Mahtomedi, Brenda Guse (Rick) of Somerset WI, Sharon Ries (Scott) of Georgetown TX, Greg DeReu (Sue) of Wyoming MN, and Lisa Rylander of Stillwater. Rod also leaves behind 16 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 1 great, great granddaughter and many other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held 5:00-7:00 PM on Monday, August 21, 2023 at Simonet Funeral Home, 6429 N. Osgood Ave, Stillwater. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday August 22, 2023 at the Church of St. Michael, 611 S 3rd St., Stillwater, with visitation one hour prior to the Mass at church. Luncheon to follow. Interment at St. Michael's Cemetery in Bayport.