Rodney Lee Bockwitz, 87, of Humboldt, Minn. passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minne-apolis.
Rodney was born in Hallock, Minn., on Dec. 21, 1935, the son of Virgil and Elvera (Paulson) Bockwitz. Rodney grew up and attended school in Humboldt and later in Hallock.
He married Jeanette Vilen in 1952 and they had two daughters, Cindi and Cheri. Rodney engaged in farming with his dad, including running one of the largest sheep operations in the state at that time. In 1964, he moved his family to the Cities and opened a diesel repair shop.
He later married Sharon Hanson. They had three sons, Brian, Bradley and Bret.
Rodney started racing cars at an early age and survived a horrific crash at Brooklands Speedway in the early ’60s. He also raced cars with his sons at the Princeton Speedway.
He moved back to Humboldt in the early ’90s and kept busy in the shop repairing area farmers’ equipment and driving truck during beet season. Winter months were spent at the cabin in Baudette, Minn., where he helped Bayview Lodge keep roads plowed, ice houses heated and equipment running. Summers would find him at the cabin doing odd projects for the lodge or out on the lake driving the old blue Steelcraft, but only after he finished his shop projects at home. He was privileged to have made many friends up at the cabin and spoke of them often.
He is survived by: his daughters, Cindi and Cheri, sons, Brian (Jackie), Bradley, Bret (Shannon); grandchildren, Jeremy, Alyssa, Taylor, Brendan, Chelsea and Kayla; several great-grandchildren and multiple nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Jewell and Madrene; and brother, Robert.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, Humboldt.