Cover photo for Roderick Arthur Magoon's Obituary
Roderick Arthur Magoon Profile Photo
1936 Roderick 2017

Roderick Arthur Magoon

May 20, 1936 — February 14, 2017

Roderick Arthur Magoon died at his home in Fairfield, Iowa, on Feb. 14, 2017. He was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 20, 1936 to Wallace Herbert Magoon (d. 1986) and Iris Norton Eppens Magoon (d. 1992).

Rod attended Burris Lab School of Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana and graduated President of the Class of 1954; attended Wabash College (1954-1955) and was a Private First Class in the U.S. Marine Corps (1955-1957), under a special program that also took him to Alaska.

Rod married Carol Burkett Blane of Plymouth, Indiana (1958); finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (1960), and received a Master of Science degree in Conservation from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1965).

Rod worked for Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company in Akron, Ohio (1962); was involved with and taught a special program through Dr. Layman Allen at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (1964); taught 7th-8th grade Science in Alpena, Michigan (1963-1966) and taught high school Literature at Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Michigan (1966-1973).

Rod started going to McGregor Bay, Birch Island, Ontario, for three months each summer in 1947 and eventually moved not far from McGregor Bay to Mills Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, in 1973 where he started Manitoulin Goat Farm and focused on farming and his passion to write. Rod left Manitoulin Island in 1979 and lived for a couple years in Ottawa, Ontario.

Rod married Cathy Kahn Clemens of Seattle, Washington (1984); taught high school English, American and British Literature, Writing and Speech at MSAE (Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment), Fairfield, Iowa (1985-1994) where he was voted “Teacher of the Year” for a number of years; taught a small group of home-schooled children (1994-1996) and taught special needs adults at Indian Hills Community College for at least 3 years. Rod retired in Fairfield, Iowa.

Among things Rod enjoyed were classical music; playing card, word, board and outdoor lawn games; involvement in kids’ sports activities; the great outdoors; gardening; drive- in movies; pet cats and dogs; canoe trips; camping in Michigan, Florida, Canada, Iowa and later R.V. camping/road trips to Wisconsin, Glacier National Park, Montana,

Arizona and New Mexico; picnics in all seasons; inventing games; writing; teaching and speaking.

Younger brother of Dougald Wallace (d. 2000) (Bette) Magoon of Muncie, Indiana; Duncan (Marilynn) Magoon of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Mary Anne Magoon of Boone, North Carolina and older brother of Patricia (Tom) Hogan of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Father of Julie (Alain) Desaulniers of Evansville, Ontario (Manitoulin Island); Bonnie Helton of Indianapolis, Indiana; Maggie (Robert Roe) Magoon of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; Ryan Magoon of Vancouver, British Columbia; Andrew (Mei Yieng Chin) Magoon of Vancouver, British Columbia; Yitzhak Magoon of San Diego, California and Beyana Magoon of Seattle, Washington.

Grandfather of Kristina Desaulniers of Manitoulin Island, Ontario; Maria (Marcus Puharich) Desaulniers of Tofino, British Columbia; Lysanne (Mark Sanchez) Desaulniers of Manitoulin Island, Ontario; Etienne Desaulniers of Manitoulin Island, Ontario and Tara Helton of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Great-grandfather of Ava and Emma Sanchez and Indiana Floyd of Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

Rod had nine nieces, six nephews, 15 great-nieces, seven great-nephews, four great great-nieces and one great great-nephew (niece Angel Wirrick (d. 2009) and great-niece Lauren Magoon (d. 1988).

Rod loved his seven children and wanted each of them to be free and happy individuals who could think outside the box and use their brilliance in constructive, positive, happy ways.

A memorial service will be held this July in McGregor Bay, Birch Island, Ontario.

Memorial donations may be made in Rod’s memory to the Arbor Day Foundation, Trees in Memory at tim (will plant 5 trees for $10 in a forest in need OR Interlochen Center for the Arts, Rod Magoon Memorial Writing Scholarship at or P.O. Box 199, Interlochen, MI, 49643 or by contacting Kate Olson at 231-276-7611.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Roderick Arthur Magoon, please visit our flower store.


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