Rodney Keith Blakeman, 94, passed away October 9, 2021 peacefully in his sleep at his home in Evanston. A longtime resident of Evanston he resided in this community for 65 years after marrying his life long companion Mary Lou Taggart a resident of Evanston in 1954 where he helped raise a family and maintained his work career over this period of time.
He was born on February 22, 1927 in Rock River, Wyoming to Harry Donald and Grace Deloris (Chamberlain) Blakeman. He had the company of his parents and siblings William, Patricia, Richard, Stan, and Diana while in his early years. He often told stories of events and places in his childhood living in Rock River and growing up into his teens. He was a son of depression years and would humbly tell of how challenging it was for his family at times to have enough but they always got by. He received his formal education in Rock River schools.
He served his country in the Navy during WW II joining at the early age of seventeen years and serving in the Pacific on an aircraft carrier receiving an honorable discharge when enlistment was up. After his discharge he spent some time trying to find his niche in life. He even dealt casino blackjack in Las Vegas for a while. He worked with his father Hal Blakeman as a rough neck for BlakoOil which eventually led him to Evanston working with his father who was Wildcatting for oil. While working in Evanston he met and married his lifelong companion Mary Lou Taggart on June, fourteenth 1954 and they began to rear a family of eight children: six boys and two girls. Dad and his companions calling over the span of their lives was dedicated to watching over providing for and loving their children.
Dad set an example of hard work for the family in their support. Over the years he worked at various jobs which included roughneck, carpenter, construction work and at one time a police officer for the EPD. He was water department supervisor for the City of Evanston for several years late sixties to 1979 when he was called back to work for the UPRR where he was a hoghead until he retired at the age of 65. There after he worked part time for UCSD in a custodial capacity for several years. He was always good at what ever endeavors he was involved in.
He was a Mason for many years and enjoyed the association of many friends and acquaintances and extended family. He loved to take walks and hikes especially out in the hills where he would look for artifacts and enjoy the exercise and solitude. He was good at crosswords often completing the puzzles and for a lengthy time did one almost every day. He spent hours keeping his yard, all the grass and trees looking nice. He performed most of the minor maintenance on his automobiles.
Dad is survived by is children; Robert (Freida) Blakeman, Timothy (Kris) Blakeman, John Blakeman, Sarah Blakeman, Bill Blakeman, Nellie Blakeman and Tony Blakeman; his 15 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren and his sister Diana Marlow.
He is preceded in death by his wife Mary Lou; a son Walter James Blakeman; brothers William, Stanley and Richard and a sister Patricia.
In accordance with is wishes, cremation has taken place. He will be laid to rest with his wife in the Evanston City Cemetery with military honors and Masonic rites on November 12, 2021 at 11:00 AM.