Lee Roddy, age 95 who grew up in Oakdale, and authored 60-plus books, died February 2nd, 2017 in his Grass Valley retirement home. Roddy is survived by Cicely, his wife of 69 years; a son, Steve Roddy, daughter-in-law Katie, both of Lake Wildwood, Nevada County; daughter Susan (Peter Dodds) Roddy, and two grandsons, Patrick O’Shaughnessy Roddy and Zachary de Haas, all of the San Francisco area. Surviving siblings are brothers Jim Roddy and Jack Roddy and sisters, Helen Schneider and Belle Roddy.
Born in an Illinois farmhouse on Aug. 22, 1921, Roddy moved with his parents to Oakdale, California, in 1931. While attending local schools, he began writing short stories for recreation and planned to be an author. His first short stories were published when he was 14. After graduating from Oakdale High in 1940, Roddy attended Modesto Junior College for a year before moving to Hollywood to begin a writing career. Roddy worked part time writing for advertising agencies and radio stations while earning a degree in radio broadcasting from Los Angeles City College in 1945. In 1947, Roddy married his college sweetheart and switched from freelance writing to a more secure staff position writing advertising copy at KTRB, Modesto. He was soon promoted to sales manager, a position he held for eight years. Then, while still pursuing his goal to be an author, Roddy became general manager or sales manager at radio stations in Hollywood, Anaheim and Honolulu, Hawaii. In the early 1960s, he changed careers from broadcasting to newspapers. Roddy became a journeyman reporter and feature writer for the Turlock Journal and the Modesto Bee. In 1977, Roddy sold the first of 62 books, a biography for Robert E. Lee which is still in print. Roddy’s historical novel, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” became a prime time television series. The author’s juvenile novel, “Secret of the Shark Pit” was a million copy seller and is still in print. His other adult credits are two historical suspense trilogies, “Between Two Flags” and “Giants on the Hill.” Roddy also wrote “The Lincoln Conspiracy,” (became a movie); “In Search of Historic Jesus,” and “Jesus,” a nonfiction book now also a movie in a thousand languages through Campus Crusade for Christ. In total, Roddy wrote 44 novels in series for middle grade readers, 10 historical suspense novels for adults, and several nonfiction titles, including “How to Write a Story.” The author’s works-in- progress at his death include an adult and a juvenile historic novel.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
March 1, 2017