Lux Perpetua

My mother-in-law Gerry Rodan died Thursday. Wendy and our son Mark were with her at the end; she passed quietly and peacefully, surrounded by people who love her.  This week’s post is in memory of her.

This passage from Wisdom 3:1-9 keeps coming back to me:

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of men they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his elect,
and he watches over his holy ones.

Here is Mom’s obituary (also here, with a link for remembrances) from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Geraldine (Gerry) Baer Rodan

April 26, 1925-February 13, 2014

Teacher, home economist, and mother Geraldine (Gerry) Rodan of McCandless died peacefully in her apartment Thursday afternoon, with her family by her side. A woman of firm faith, Gerry had made clear to her family that she was ready to go and be with her Lord.

A celebration of her life will be held in April at her church, St. Paul’s United Methodist, 1965 Ferguson Road, Allison Park, PA.  Her cremated remains will be interred with her husband of forty-nine years, WWII veteran John (Jack) Gifford Rodan, in Monroe, Michigan.

Born in Hummelstown, PA on April 26, 1925 to Irwin and Maude Baer, Gerry had two younger brothers who survive her, Richard (Dick) Baer of Middletown, PA and John (Jack) Baer of Los Altos, CA.  She married Jack Rodan on May 13, 1950 in a hometown ceremony.

Prior to her marriage, she attended Juniata College and put a degree in Home Economics to good work in that field for both Westinghouse and Public Service of New Jersey.  Later in life, she pursued a master’s degree in education at Glassboro State College and taught Language Arts to sixth and seventh graders for more than 20 years in Haddonfield, NJ.  Gerry volunteered with Haddon Fortnightly and Girl Scouts in Haddonfield, at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe, MI, and was an active church member throughout her life.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Steve Tuell of McCandless, PA; her son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Lois Rodan of Ypsilanti, MI; three grandsons, Sean, Anthony, and Mark Tuell; and great-grandchildren Samantha and Katlin Dillon.

Gerry’s family expresses their deep appreciation to the caring staff of Sunrise of McCandless, and to AseraCare Hospice for making Gerry’s final days more fulfilling and comfortable. Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church or to Juniata College.


I have sung many settings of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, and have always loved the lines (Faure’s setting is here), Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis: “May everlasting light shine upon them, O Lord, with thy saints in eternity, for thou art merciful. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and may everlasting light shine upon them.”  This week that is my prayer for Gerry: May light perpetual shine on you, Mom, as you enter into the glory of our Lord!


Our thanks to the many who have sent messages of love and support.  This blog will resume next week.