David Ellis Roden

1940 - 2021


David Ellis Roden, 81 of Duluth passed away peacefully April 14, 2021 at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth. Dave was born February 14, 1940 in Fargo, ND to Vivian and Stewart Roden. Dave married Mary Anne Rovello August 5, 1961 in Duluth, MN.

Dave enjoyed a long career in the grocery business where he started his career as a grocery bagger with National supermarkets. From there he progressed into management and ultimately acted as store manager for the National stores located in Duluth Heights, 6th Avenue East and Superior. In 1970 Dave began a career that spanned decades with Gateway Foods. Dave started as field salesman and ultimately ended his career acting as Division President with Fleming Foods.

In 1992, he along with partners, owned and operated Jubilee and Festival Foods stores located in Duluth, Virginia, Pine City and Walker, Minnesota, as well as Superior, Wisconsin.

Dave’s favorite times were spent with family and friends at his cabin on Lake Elora and winters in Fort Myers Beach, Florida where he could always be found enjoying a Windsor diet coke and fresh bag of popcorn.

Above all Dave loved his wife Mary Anne, his children, grandchildren, and great grandson. 

Dave was an extremely generous person and throughout his life he taught us the true meaning of integrity, honesty, strength, courage and the of love of family. 

Dave is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Anne. Children: Cindy (Gordy Westendorf), Anne Marie (Jim) Bergman, Mary Beth (Kurt) Gronseth, and Brad (Mary Kay) Roden. Grandchildren: Micayla (Colin) Berg, Brianna, Kiara, Garrett, and Joshua Westendorf; Dan (Kari), Hannah, Tanner (Megan Cornelison) Bergman, Allyson and Tyler Gronseth; Emma and Tiegan Roden. and great grandson Ryker Bergman; Sisters: Susan (Robert) Thomson, Dona Roden and many nieces and nephews. 

Preceded in death by his parents Vivian and Stewart Roden, sisters Phylis Sornsin, Virgina Grady and brother Donald Roden. 

A private family service will be held with interment at Calvary Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to Solvay Hospice House.  Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E. 2nd St., Duluth, MN 218-727-3555 please visit to sign the online guestbook.




Solvay Hospice House c/o Miller-Dwan Foundation
502 East 2nd Street, Duluth MN 55805
Tel: 1-218-786-5829

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Greg Walczynski

April 29, 2021 12:33 PM

Rest in peace Dave.  He is remembered in my daily prayers.   Living in So. California Mountains, I've been out of touch, with exceptions of Cathedral (Marshall) school reunions. I recall seeing both Dave and Mary Anne at past reunions; and hold on to all those fond memories of the past. 

Kit and Mary Denis

April 25, 2021 8:58 PM

Our hearts go out to Mary Ann and the family of David. What a wonderful man we lost. As a kid I remember Uncle David taking me to the National food store where he worked and later traveling with him to all the IGA stores. If it wasn’t for Dave I would have never been to the old UMD quonset were the Dogs played hockey, as well as the deer hunting shack where I saw my first home made mousetrap (5 gal pail with a pop can slathered with peanut butter.). I would have never seen the famous French Club or dug out my first Outhouse hole (not all the experiences smelled good!). But, wow, every experience with Dave will be remembered as the Best Of Times. Mary and I so enjoyed our visits with Dave and Mary Ann. RIP 

Jill Wiedemann-West

April 24, 2021 9:41 PM

Rest in Paradise Dave Roden.  You were a strong presence in the lives of myself and my family for most of my life.  You hold a special place as the only person besides my parents that referred to me as Jill Ann.  An always present smile and sense of joy, while creating a strong sense of family that extended beyond your own to many others. I have many wonderful childhood memories of the "lake," and can only imagine that for your family, the grief of your loss is buffered only by the extraordinary memories they have of you.

Theresa and Will Kleczka

April 23, 2021 1:15 PM

We were so shocked and saddened at the passing of Dave.
My memories and fondness for him and his family go back to babysitting for his beautiful daughters. (Pre Brad days). Dave became like another father to me, even entrusting me to practice and use his car to pass my driver’s test. He hired me for a cashier position at National first real job! He was a good mentor to me and many other young employees. Later his daughters babysat for our family.
When I saw Dave’s photo, I instantly remembered that smile of his. Just radiant and warm and sometimes hinting at deviousness.
Will and I send warm condolences to you all for such a great loss to your family. I feel so blessed to have known him. I know he will be gravely missed.

Shari Rud

April 23, 2021 9:22 AM

Condolences to Mary Anne and their family. I have known Dave since I was a young girl hired to cashier at the 6th Ave. IGA grocery store. Dave was the Store Manager. He was an energetic, fair, friendly guy who mentored me as my responsibilities grew, eventually becoming The Bookkeeper. I appreciated his advice, his encouragement in those times where females were not given the same opportunities as males. Jay got to know Dave well too as we spent many nights with he and other employees just talking after the store closed at 9 PM then. Eventually, I also was hired to “babysit” their children.  Throughout and after my college days, he always called on me to come in work to cover vacations at The Plaza. We remained friends for decades after my employment there, and that continued as his own children had families at Homecroft schools where I was the Principal. I cherish the times where we would meet & greet at hockey games, grocery stores, Ridgeview, various places and share long conversations. He was always interested in our life.  Rest In Peace, Dear Friend. Thank you for your friendship, your mentorship, your wisdom, your caring.  Shari & Jay Rud   

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