Obituary: Roderick David Olps

Roderick David Olps passed away June 3, 2024. He walked with God in this life. Now, he is embraced by his Savior in the next. It’s all he ever wanted. His pursuit of intimacy with God oriented his entire life. Every morning, he would spend an hour or more studying and meditating and memorizing scripture. He was a friend of God, and we could not be more confident that he is now basking in the approval of his Heavenly Father.

Following the priority and passion of his deeply personal relationship to his Heavenly Father, came his relationship with his beloved wife, Jeannette. They found each other at a Campus Crusade meeting at Louisiana State University, and over the last 49 years their companionship was marked by fruitful ministry to those in need of counsel, direction and help in crisis. He so dearly loved his wife. She was his best friend, his constant amusement, his support and energy. He would whisk her out of the clutches of grandchildren and friends to take her someplace where he didn’t have to share her.

He was our father. He was a benevolent, warm patriarch unifying the family, healing our wounds, praying for us and writing us notes of affirmation. He would send snippets of commentary on his scripture studies from Spurgeon, Calvin, Watts, or Lloyd-Jones. He poured love and encouragement into his four adoring, God-fearing and productive children, since among them he was blessed with 22 grandchildren.

How he loved children. He was the baby whisperer. He was so entertained and delighted by his grandchildren, so in love with them and so invested in them. On the family vacations he faithfully sponsored every year, he would gather the kids up and give talks on “you are not your own” and “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.” He started the Jubilee School and other endeavors to assist with the education of his autistic grandson, Henry, which bore the fruit eventually of unlocking Henry’s brilliant, complex and deeply spiritual mind. Finally, Henry found ample words to praise God and also his “Pop Pop” who had labored by his side and invested sacrificially.

Rod ran the race of the Christian life without ever slowing down. He was notoriously restless and feared a lazy retirement. He preached to men about finishing strong. It made us uncomfortable that he would want to talk about what he should do with the rest of his life, probably starting in his 50s. He would plan out the next 20, 10, or five years he hoped God would give him. He was a pilgrim with one foot on heaven’s threshold. He died with his spiritual boots on in midsentence as he was counseling a campus ministry staff couple. He was preparing to do their Birkman, his famous career and personality assessment test.

Rod walked with God and men. He was a friend of God and men. Nothing else matters.

He was born in Quincy, Ill., in 1949. He proudly served as a U.S. Navy Radar Intercept Officer on F-14s from 1972-78. He was a graduate and fervent fan of LSU.

He’s survived by his sisters, Dianne Decuir, Shelley Mitchell; his brother, Randy Olps; his wife, Jeannette; and his four children, Rusty, Merilee Paxton, Christine Creason and Doug.

Services for Rod will include a 9:30 a.m. public visitation, followed by 11 a.m. memorial, Monday, June 10, at Trinity Baptist Church, 711 Fairview Drive, Moscow. A graveside service for the family will follow.

In lieu of flowers, please send financial gifts to Palouse Fellowship, 611 Lynn St., Moscow, ID 83843, with the memo line designating “Autism Education.”

Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow is in charge of arrangements and condolences may be left at

Rod and Jeannette Olps with their grandchildren.

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