Craig Steven Rode, 55, passed away April 13, 2021, in West Chester, Ohio. A celebration of life will be scheduled in Libby at a later date.
He was born to Wilbur Rode and Susan (Lee) Pierce in Benson, Minnesota, September 20, 1965. Craig was born a “carrot top” and was a handsome child. He spent his early childhood in Minnesota and moved around a lot as his dad was a water well driller; from a farm in Sacred Heart, to Clara City, to Rochester, and Benson, until the age of 10.
When his parents separated, Craig and his siblings moved to Kalispell with their dad in 1977. In 1979, the family moved to Libby, where Craig attended Libby Public Schools, graduating with the Class of 1984.
In elementary school in Benson, Craig would miss the school bus. There were bullies onboard the bus who would call him “Giarc” (Craig spelled backwards) and “Bernie.” They would force Craig off the bus and send him to the Mini Stop for Mountain Dew and Funyuns. Most of the time, he would miss the bus ride home, which was a mile and a half away.
Craig loved the outdoors, fishing, camping and creating his own camp sites. He once had a fort behind the Methodist Church, built into the hillside. It had a couch that he and his friend carried up the steep hillside. It was his getaway. Craig and his best friend, Shawn Huffman, loved the Cabinet Mountains and would hike and climb all over. In 1984, he lost his best friend while they were climbing in the Cabinets. Losing him took a toll on Craig.
He taught his little sister Richelle to drive and would take her up Swede Mountain and Remp’s pit in his blue Datsun station wagon, something he really enjoyed doing.
Craig was an excellent cook, always making dishes, pastries, and his famous homemade chili. Craig loved to party and always had a great time and loved being around family and friends.
Craig left Libby in 1984 and went exploring around Montana, Colorado and as far south as Texas. He settled in Seattle/Tacoma in 1987, where he learned carpentry. In the early 90s, Craig moved to Ohio, where he opened EZ-Lay Carpet.
In 2000, Craig met Sharon and they were married in 2002. They stayed together for 20 years and parted ways. Craig spent this last year with his girlfriend, Mary Umphrey in West Chester.
Craig was truly loved throughout this earth; our handsome red-headed brother.
He was preceded in death by his father, Wilbur Rode, nephew James Anthony Rode (Jimmer), niece Tala Arella Thompson and sister-in-law Shelly (Long) Wittwer.
His survivors include his companion Mary Umphrey, West Chester, former wife and friend Sharon Rode, also of West Chester, grandson Ethan and granddaughter Lauren, mother Susan (Lee) Pierce, Troy, brother Scott (Sheryl) Rode, Renton, Washington, brother James (Angela) Rode, Libby, sister Roxanne (David) Benefield and her daughter Sarah, also of Libby, sister Richelle (Tom) Rode, Bonners Ferry, nieces Cammi Navarro and her daughters Breeanna Runyan and Ember Rode of Libby and Cassandra (Jason) Schuldt, Auburn, Washington, nephews Christopher (Allison) Rode, Lacey, Washington, Andrew Rode, Theron Rode, Kent Holste, San Antonio, Texas and Nicholas Obermayer, Moscow, Indiana, and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and great friends.
Please do not cry for me for I am now flying with my friend Shawn; with my angels above, I have joined my loved ones; my Dad, Jimmer, Tala and Shelly. There are no tears in heaven.