Rodd was able to spend his last day on Earth doing what he loved; working cows with family before he passed away on November 6th from an undetected fast moving infection. A celebration of his very full life will be held in the spring.
Rodd Duane Bunch was born February 16, 1957 to Duane and Jean Bunch in Baker City, Oregon at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Rodd attended grade school in Durkee and graduated from Baker High School in 1975. During high school, he was active in sports and FFA. His Junior year, he placed second in the State FFA public speaking contest and received his State Farmer Degree his senior year. After high school, he attended Treasure Valley Community College for a year and then transferred to Blue Mountain community college and graduated with an Associate of Science Degree in Production Agriculture. After College, he returned home to Durkee to the family ranch.
In 1981, Rodd married Rhea Woods on September 12th in Durkee, Oregon at the old school house. They had two children. Charlene Nicole on August 5, 1984 and Levi Andrew on October 29th, 1986. Rodd and Rhea could be found at all the kids’ activities; sports, 4-H, FFA, and Rodeo. They shared 32 happy years together before Rhea was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in December of 2013. Rodd started a companionship with neighbor and lifelong family friend, Heather Vaughan. They shared several wonderful years together being Papa and Mimi to their four grandkids: Rio (7), Cash(5), Sage(2), and Brim (3 months). They were the light of Rodd’s life. The grandkids loved to come and do cow work with Papa horseback or in the “side side” and have picnics at the cabin. Rodd was in Roseburg just a week ago to watch Rio and Cash play in their last soccer game of the season. He never missed a birth or birthday and was a very devoted Papa.
A favorite time of the year was spring for Rodd. Neighbors helping neighbors roping and branding calves with a hearty dinner and cold drink to cap the day. He worked very closely with his family on the ranch and enjoyed the company of his family and friends very much! He was humbled and amazed by the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community upon Rhea’s passing. Every call, message, or card truly meant the world to him. He was fortunate enough to have many treasured relationships with family and friends.
Rodd was active in the Durkee Community and Baker County. He was past President of the Baker County Cattlemen’s Association and a 4-H leader for many years of the Durkee Livestock Club. He currently is on the Durkee Preservation District Board, Burnt River RFPA, a past board member of the SWCD, and the Taylor Grazing Board. He was a member of the Baker Elks Lodge and the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. He is also the current chairman of the Durkee Community Corp. He was a staple at every Durkee function, including the Durkee Steak Feed starting as a young kid helping when it was held by the Burnt River to now when it is held in Baker.
Rodd is preceded in death by his father, Duane Bunch and wife Rhea Bunch. He is survived by his companion and love, Heather Vaughan, Daughter Charlene and Kyle Henrikson and grandkids Rio, Cash, and Sage of Roseburg Oregon, Son Levi and Amanda Bunch and grandson Brim of Durkee, Mother Jean Bunch of Durkee, Sister Susan Bunch of La Grande, Sister Cheryl and Chuck Buchanan of Durkee, Mother in Law, Ione Woods, of Fruitland ID, as well as other close family, and many very dear friends.
Contributions in memory of Rodd can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Snake River Chapter, or the Baker County Livestock Producers Foundation Scholarship Fund or a charity of your choice through Taimi's Pine Valley Funeral Home PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences may be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com