Jean Marie Waukechon Rodarte, age 78 of Franklin, formerly of Keshena, Wisconsin, passed away Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at her home surrounded by her family. Memorial services will be at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 20 at Assembly of God Church in Redwood Falls. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home in Redwood Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.
Jean Marie was born December 18, 1937 on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin to Joseph G. and Catherine Christine (Gauthier) Waukechon. She was very proud of her Native American and Irish heritage. After graduation, she became a dancing instructor at Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray Dance Studios in San Francisco. She then went to college where she met her husband. Jean married William G. Rodarte on February 14, 1958 in Carson City, Nevada. After marriage, she followed Rod throughout his career in the Navy. Jean worked as a records keeper at the Navy Hospital in Orlando, Florida. She was a devoted and faithful military wife and the mother of 3 who were born in Japan, Utah, and Wisconsin. During Rod’s military career, they lived in Japan, Utah, Connecticut, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Florida, where they retired. Jean worked many years as a store detective, working to prevent shoplifting, and she later worked as a CNA, caring for people in their homes. Jean and Rod also cared for children as foster parents for a few years. Jean became a born again Christian as an adult at Calvary Assembly Church while living in Winter Park, Florida. The couple then lived in Las Vegas, California, Colorado, Minnesota, then back to Vegas, and finally to Minnesota. Jean enjoyed cross stitch crafts, beading, Native American craftwork, and watercolor painting.
Jean is survived by her husband William “Rod” Rodarte; children Rod Rodarte of San Diego, Kitty Rodarte of Colorado, and Alexis Rae Nelson of Franklin; grandchildren: Norisa Rae, Teyjon, Miles, and Jesse; great grandchildren: Damoni, Tiffany, Marcus, Trevor, Kirstin, Noah, Cameron, Sophia, and Alexander; 4 sisters; and 1 brother. She is preceded in death by her parents and grandson Rod Andrew.