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Rodney H. Orell

Rodney H. Orell, 83, passed peacefully, surrounded by his family, on June 25, 2021. Rod was born in Ogden, Utah on November 5, 1937, to Ortel and Charles H. Orell. He was a lifelong learner who graduated from Ogden High School, Weber State College, and the University of Utah. He received his master’s degree in mathematics from Penn State University in 1970.

Rod was a quiet and gentle man. He was a man of integrity who adamantly displayed the courage of his convictions. He proudly passed his most endearing quality (stubbornness) to his entire bloodline. We lovingly refer to this trait as, “Orellin’ it!”

In recent months, he had become quite the comedian who kept his friends, family, and exceptional caregivers laughing. As an avid outdoorsman, he loved to ski and golf. He enjoyed spending time at the cabin he built with his wife in Bear Lake. Rod had many occupations in his lifetime. From roofer to contractor, lifeguard to railroad worker, there was not much that this man could not do, and there was nothing that he was too proud to try and learn. In addition to raising a beautiful family with his high school sweetheart and wife of 63 years, Joan Staker Orell, his proudest accomplishments occurred during the 27 years he spent as an educator and coach at Ogden High School. He often fondly reflected on the days that he was privileged to spend teaching about his greatest passions: football, wrestling, and mathematics. Rod went on to retire from the IRS after his career at Ogden High, as he was never any good at sitting still.

Rod is survived by his wife, Joan Staker Orell, his brother and sister, Carolyn Shappart and Dean Orell, his children, Rhonda and David Shepherd and David Orell, his grandchildren, Sloan, Khylie, Aly, Chris, Slade, Joe, and his great-granddaughter, Jauslyn.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathie Orell.

We send our deepest and most sincere thank you to his care team from Independence Health Services: Shanna, Lindsay, Cory, and our beloved Marcie. Words truly cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for the exceptional and dignified care that you provided. You brought joy to his life with each and every visit.

Per Rod’s request, there will be no memorial service. He will be honored during a private family celebration of life at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, please thank an influential educator in your life and play a round of golf with the people that you love.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rodney Orell, please visit our flower store.


A candle was lit in memory of Rodney Orell

Patricia M Ropelato Jul 11 2021 3:48 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Rodney Orell

Danette Stewart Jul 10 2021 10:44 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. He was one of my teachers in HS class of 86. Thanks for sharing a great man with us. Sheila Vanderdoes Moore

Sheila Moore Jul 7 2021 1:22 AM

So sorry to hear about Rod passing. What a good man! I had the pleasure of coaching with him at OHS. A gentle but great coach who loved what he did. Good memories of a really great guy.

Bruce Oyler Jul 6 2021 11:38 PM

Sorry, Joan for your loss. Although we hadn't seen each other in years, I considered Rod a friend. We did have some good times together. His wit will be missed. Take care.

Mike Ito Jul 5 2021 10:09 PM

Dear Joan, it has many years since we have seen each other. I remember such fun and crazy times we had with each other during our Ogden High days. I want to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family in the passing of Rod. Virginia Harbertson Read

Virginia Read Jul 3 2021 9:24 PM

Coach Orell was my geometry teacher at Ogden High. It was a tough subject but he made it easy to understand. He truly was a gentle giant.

Marcia Rouse Bruner OHS Class of 74 Jul 3 2021 6:50 PM

Dear Joan, Rhonda, and David - We are so sad to hear of Rod's passing. Some of my fondest memories growing up include you in them. I'm so grateful for all of the fun times we shared at the cabin in Island Park. What a wonderful blessing to have had the chance to spend so much time together and create so many lasting memories. Rod's presence put others at ease, always kind and gentle and so endearing. I also had the gift of having Rod as a teacher, and I can honestly say that he was one of my all-time favorites. He was passionate about teaching, and it showed in the way he taught and guided his students. As I write this, I'm sitting here with my mother and we can't help but smile as we reminisce over so many wonderful memories with you all. We grieve with you over the loss of such a great man, and we will keep you in our prayers. Much love to you all.

Susie Haskell

Susie Haskell Jul 2 2021 5:24 PM

So sorry for the loss of rod. I remember the trip to Yellowstone and rod cooking in the rain. I bet he and Willis are working on something

Lois galvez Jul 2 2021 12:17 PM

Dear Joan: So sorry to learn about Rod's passing. Time has certainly flown by since our Ogden High School days...but I certainly remember you and Rod! My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.

Claudette Cornett Hoggan Jun 30 2021 11:36 PM

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