Dodds 1


Rodney Dodds was born in Newcastle upon Tyne to a Canadian mother and English father. After a harsh experience at a prep school in the Borders he spent five happy years at Sedbergh from 1945 in Lupton House. A keen tennis player he enjoyed all  the sport on offer and the freedom to roam the fells with his great friends (“The Magnificent Seven”) including Giles Shaw, David MacInnes, Spinney, Gardiner, Bird and A.N. Other

He earned an Exhibition to read Modern Languages at Cambridge (he was University Fives champion) after which he completed National Service in the RAF (in England and Canada). By this time he had fallen for Mary Hainsworth, sister of Old Sedbergians John and David Hainsworth and was rumoured to have performed an illegal loop the loop in his RAF plane, showing off to Mary as she holidayed on the Isle of Wight.

Following their marriage in 1955 Rod and Mary moved to Germany where he taught at Salem School which was founded by Kurt Hahn.

On their return to England and following the birth of their first child Penny, Rod and Mary moved to Somerset where he was employed by Clarks Shoes. He remained with Clarks for over 30 years and they went on to have three more children; David, Nic and Pip. During his 50 years in Somerset he immersed himself in countless community projects, the local church, sports ( mostly tennis) and  water colour painting and enjoyed a wide friendship group whilst developing his many interests. Both Rod and Mary were devoted grandparents to their many grandchildren.

When he finished working at Clarks he returned to teaching and taught French in a local prep school which he enjoyed enormously. He and Mary travelled considerably after his retirement, often travelling with, or to visit friends. In 2005 they moved to St George’s Park, a retirement community in Ditchling to be nearer to their children. They spent ten very happy years there developing new interests and friendships. During this time he was a Director of the Museum of World Religions which is planned to be built in Birmingham.  He qualified for veterans Wimbledon (over 80s). With the onset of covid and their health deteriorating they moved to a residential home in Manningtree to be close to Penny.

He died peacefully on 2nd August aged 91 with his wife of 68  years Mary by his side and Mary died 17 days later.

Dodds 2
Dodds 2