by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter March 1999
He was one of the most generous people any of us will ever meet. More than one person has referred to him as one of Foxboro’s “Guardian angels,” and that’s exactly what he was.
Jerry Rodman is gone, and this town will never be the same. We’ve all lost a friend.
I recall the Senior Center vote at the town meeting two years ago, and after its passage, there was Jerry shaking people’s hands and saying, “Good vote! Good Vote!” His dynamic passion helped make the senior center a reality.
I remember the fire fighter’s ball when Jerry presented certificates of appreciation to the men who’d saved his life during his near-death experience at the End Zone, and the standing ovation he received. I remember him speaking at a Foxboro Jaycees General Meeting last year, and the rapt attention of the group. When Jerry spoke, you wanted to listen. What he said was always important.
Sue and I sat at his table at the Discretionary Banquet one year, and recall his joviality (I also recall that he donated many of the auction items). You’d see him on the Common, Farm Stand, the Senior Christmas fair, all around town. Always friendly. Always smiling. Always there for Foxboro. Giving his time, energy, and money to help others.
His acts of compassion and kindness filled entire newspaper pages.
And now he’s gone.
This world is a far better place because of Jerry Rodman. Despite his health problems he made extraordinary use of his gifts and time to make things better for everyone. A remarkable man. A remarkable life.
In the weeks and months to come, there will be tears, fond memories, and memorials for Jerry, but one of the best tributes I’ve seen was hand-written on one of the floral arrangements at Jerry’s wake. It was signed “Bruce” and read, “To Jerry, the most beautiful human being that ever walked the face of the Earth.”
What an absolutely perfect way to describe Jerry.
Rest in peace, Jerry. Thank you so much for what you did for Foxboro. You will always be in our hearts.