Artist, USDA Forest Service worker, boy scout, nature conservationist extraordinaire, and avid dog lover, passed away May 28, 2020, after living 82 years of what Rodney called a “magical life.” As with the rest of his life, Rodney fought through Parkinson’s Disease with grace and charm. Rodney was born September 4, 1937 in Decatur, Illinois to Russell and Edith (Cook) Replogle. Friends describe Rodney as very adventurous, accomplished, and always affable. If Rodney was around, laughter was not far away. Rodney made his first trip to New Mexico in 1954 on the Santa Fe Railroad to backpack for two weeks at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron. Rodney was a part of the Philmont summer staff 1954-1956. During that trip Rodney developed his life-long love affair with the Land of Enchantment. After graduating from Stephen Decatur High School in Decatur, Rodney began work on a bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1955. While working at the Philmont Ranch in New Mexico during the summer of 1956, he visited Taos for the first time, and vowed that he would return and in time become a member of the Taos Artist's Association. In 1967 Rodney made his dream come true and moved to Taos and joined the Taos Artist's Association. In 1967, Rodney started work with the USDA Forest Service. This began a thirty-three year career with the USDA Forest Service that took him from Taos, Durango, Tucson and finally to the Forest Service Regional Office in Albuquerque. In 1990, Rodney was recognized for his educational work with the Department of Agriculture's Award for Superior Service in a Washington, D.C. ceremony. Rodney retired in 1999 and dedicated himself fulltime to his art. His artwork was included in numerous museum and gallery shows in the Albuquerque area and other gallery venues during the next decade. An informal memorial service will be held at the Elena Gallegos Park picnic area on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 at 4 p.m. Park in general parking and follow signs. Covid social distancing will be instituted, and the wearing of masks will be required when people are within 6 feet of each other.
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