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Obituary (SC): John Gardiner Richards Roddey '59

Posted on 02/16/2018

Colonel John Gardiner Richards Roddey, United States Air Force Retired, died in Charleston, SC on Sunday, February 11, 2018 the day before his 81st birthday. His devoted wife of 56 years, Gail Roddey, was at his side.

Richards was born in Rock Hill, SC to John and Jean Richards Roddey. He attended Winthrop Training School followed by the United States Naval Academy (1959). He was commissioned and served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, flying several tours in Vietnam. He earned several awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal for "heroism in aerial combat". He continued in the Air Force Reserve as a pilot, then transitioned to Intelligence and retired in 1989. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his exceptional performance in Intelligence. Upon leaving active duty in 1965, he started a 32 year career with North Carolina National Bank/Bank of America, serving in Charlotte and London, where he retired as Senior Executive Managing Director in charge of European Banking. He and Gail enjoyed retirement in Kiawah Island, SC.

Richards served as a deacon and elder at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, at St. Columba's Presbyterian Church in London and at John's Island Presbyterian Church, where he also sang in the choir. He was elected as elder emeritus at John's Island Presbyterian Church. Richards served on several boards including the Heart & Vascular Board of MUSC, College of Charleston's Language Cultures and World Affairs and the Kiawah Conservancy. He had a passion for USNA sports, history, hunting, fine food and drink, the Redskins, the Dodgers, Chelsea Football Club, and soccer refereeing. Most of all, he enjoyed his family and many friends and was always quick with a story.

Richards is survived by his wife Gail Smith Baker Roddey formerly of Conway, SC, four children and twelve grandchildren. His children are Gardiner (JGR Roddey, Jr), wife Patricia, Suci (Grace Fayssoux Roddey Jackson), husband Hardie, Joe (William Joseph Roddey V), wife Sarah, and Jean Roddey Bird and husband Brian. Grandchildren are John Gardiner Richards Roddey III, Eli Koury Roddey, Lyle Fayssoux Roddey; Hardie Scott Jackson Jr., Grace Baker

Jackson, Schaefer Roddey Jackson; William Joseph Roddey VI, Baker James Roddey, and Samuel Marsh Roddey; Brian Paul Bird Jr., Anna Joseph Bird, and Roddey Grace Bird. He is also survived by his brother Jack Roddey and family, and was predeceased by his parents and sister, Bettie Gatewood Roddey Kistler.

A service of worship, remembrance and celebration will be held at 11am on Friday, February 16, 2018 at Johns Island Presbyterian Church with a reception following in the fellowship hall.

Details regarding the interment will be posted at

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Johns Island Presbyterian Church, 2550 Bohicket Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455.

Arrangements are in the care of J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

J. Henry Stuhr Downtown Chapel
232 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 7232524

Published in Charlotte Observer on Feb. 14, 2018