Rodney Paul Pflaum was born on January 6, 1958, in Madison, WI, to Howard and Marion Pflaum of Sun Prairie, WI. He attended school in Sun Prairie, and then went on to the University of WI, earning his Bachelor's degree. Rodney worked at the A & W Root Beer stand throughout high school and college. After graduation, he earned a job at Datex-Ohmeda-GE Healthcare until a Reduction in Force required him to take early retirement. In retrospect, it turned out to be a good thing, as then he went on to get his post-retirement job at the Electric Needle in Madison, which truly was the “icing on his cupcake!”
His desire to give back to his community was always apparent as noted with his long-lived and diverse volunteerism. One of his greatest joys was volunteering for Wisconsin Public Television, starting many years ago as a phone answerer collecting pledges. He went on to become a Volunteer Board Leader, playing major roles in the Garden Expo and Quilting Expo fundraising events. Rodney made many lifelong friends over his decades of volunteering for WPT. He very generously gave both personally of his time and financially.
He was a real Renaissance Man. Rodney had many loves and talents ranging from his season tickets to the Madison Opera, (a love inspired by the first one his father took him to as a child), to his love of cooking, (inspired by his parents). He was always up for a good competition on the Scrabble Board and card games. Technology always played a high priority for him as well, displayed by his “need” to have the latest and greatest of all the new gadgets. He wasn’t stingy with his knowledge though and helped many through the challenges that go with technology, being a “go to” person that could usually “get you through it.”
Always having a creative and artistic side, Rodney turned his talent toward cake decorating and made multiple beautiful wedding cakes for family and friends. His work was awesome as he put everything he had into making these most important and lifelong memories. His talents for sewing and quilting were unmatched, hence when he started his post-retirement job at the Electric Needle, it quickly became his HAPPY PLACE. He was blessed and made amazing and joyful relationships with the group of friends that worked there, and they truly made the past few years of his life a happier time. Their visits, love, encouragement, and support kept a smile on his face.
Rodney loved BIG!! His cats, Pierric and Rugrat, placed top on that list. Thankfully his “boys” were able to be rehomed together when the time came, although it was still terribly difficult. Watching movies, growing orchids (like his dad), dancing, eating good spicy Thai, Indian food, or Gyros, and visiting Supper Clubs were always favorites of his. He was also always in search of the “perfect” Old Fashioned Sweet!
Always the over achiever, Rodney had two extremely rare types of cancer. Although his battles were ongoing for many years, for the last 6 months there were some tough times for him. Rod always displayed dignity and vigor to get the most joy of life in the time he had left.
After the fateful hospitalization in October 2022, Rodney was moved to BFF Marks’ home on Hospice Care with his bed at its rightful place, right in the middle of the living room. This was to be his view for the next 6+ months. He was eternally grateful to live out the remainder of his days in Mark’s home with DeAnne, Lynn, Janie, and Jonny providing much of his care. Additionally, the plethora of friends that made frequent visits, phone calls and texts kept him entertained, although as many times as not, it was Rod doing the entertaining. It was always so inspiring to be around his amazing and courageous attitude during this time and folks often felt lifted after a visit with Rod.
A very special thank you to Agrace Hospice for all of their support and excellence of care for Rodney and our family.
Friends and family will gather for a Celebration of Life for Rodney from 2-5:00 PM on Sunday, May 14, 2023 at Sugar River Pizza, 1390 Cabela Drive, Sun Prairie, WI 53590. In Rod's honor, please wear purple to the celebration!
Rodney will never be forgotten and will always be missed.
Cress Sun Praire