Rodney Carl Moline barreled into this world on Dec. 14, 1950. Born to Virgil and Marilyn Moline (now Marilyn Palmer), Rod romped through childhood at the family home in Cocolalla, Idaho. He was a protective and mischievous older brother to his two younger sisters, Lucille Blydenstein and Crystal Gunter. Rod thrived in the outdoors, combing through North Idaho for adventures on foot, horseback, and always with friends and family at his side. He attended Southside Elementary and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1970, where he participated in wrestling, track and baseball, and met lifelong friends. He often told stories from those days out hunting, fishing, and something about collecting outhouses for a bonfire — although the details are a bit hazy.
With the war raging in Southeast Asia, Rod enlisted in the Navy Seabees after graduation and served on Diego Garcia, a seminal decision that would open many doors for him later in life. He was forever proud of what the Seabees accomplished and maintained contact with the veterans with whom he served through the rest of his life. Idaho called him home in 1972 when his father was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. As Virgil recovered, Rod leaned heavily on the support of his family and friends, including Crystal’s best friend, Kay Martin. Rod and Kay were married on March 23, 1974, and son Brian was born the next year. Daughter Stacey was born a few years later and the family eventually moved to the family ranch in Sagle where he formed a tight bond with Kay’s parents, Merrill and Beverley Martin. Life on the ranch was tailor-made for Rod and he soaked in every gift and challenge it threw his way.
Rod surrounded himself with a big circle of close friends. They ventured deep into the wilds of the Bob Marshall, the Frank Church, the Selway-Bitter-roots, and Mallard Larkin Wildern-ess on pack trips that took a page from history. He often regaled his children and grandchildren later in life with stories of epic adventures from those days. Those experiences were quintessentially North Idaho, like the man. The details of campfire songs, smells and adventures are vivid in the minds of those who shared that time with him. A campfire surrounded by those he loved, a guitar and nothing but joy eased Rod back into his chair, legs crossed, hands on his belly and encouraged a smile that made everything just right. Eventually he would inevitably say, “I wonder what the poor folk are up to today?”
Rod was defined by his love for his children. He spent his days building roads and loading logs deep in the North Idaho woods and then returned home in time to help Brian and Stacey raise their 4-H steer and hogs. He would never miss an opportunity to tell you about the time Brian broke the auction price record for his grand champion steer, or when Stacey guided her ornery hog backward through the obstacle course in the fitting and showing finals to win a grand championship ribbon of her own. He was cheering loudly at every basketball game, every football game, and every volleyball tournament — from the time the kids were playing town sports until the final point of their final games in high school and college. He was a constant father; dependable, firm, appropriately protective, and immeasurably loving and steadfast in his devotion to his children. He lives on in them.
People were drawn to Rod, and especially to his big hearted laugh. Deep and rolling, Rod’s laugh glowed and warmed your soul when you heard it. His grandchildren, Emerson and Owen, would remark, “Papa is the worst joke-teller. He gets about half way through but then starts to laugh so hard that I can’t understand the punchline. It’s hilarious!” That may actually make him the best joke-teller of all time. Rod’s laugh was a caricature of the man who delivered it and it will be sorely missed.
Rod was a proud man. He was proud of where he came from, proud of his family, and proud of who he was at his core. Pride was with him in the end, through the best and worst of times in equal measure — as a blessing and as a curse. We are proud of you Rod. Proud of the man who raised his family in the wilds of North Idaho. Offered them the opportunity to see and experience amazing places with his laugh reverberating off the supple peaks of this landscape. The man we remember lived here. He lived for his family and his friends, adventure and the outdoors, hard work and sacrifice, hilarious pranks and jokes with no punchline.
Services will be held at North Summit Church, 201 N. Division Ave., Sandpoint, at 11 a.m. on April 18, 2019. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Running W Therapeutic Riding Center (runningwranch.net).