Walter John Henry "Jack" Rodekohr, prominent California mineral collector, was born in Corder, Missouri on November 28, 1894, the son of Dorothea Sophia Oetting and Carl Fredrick Rodekohr, a carpenter. Around 1910 his family moved to the Los Angeles area where, in 1917, he was working as a clerk in the office of the Santa Fe Railroad in Los Angeles. Jack married Henrietta Martha Louisa Andreae (1902-1992), and together they had two daughters: Victoria Ann (1929) and Judith A. (1930) (married Haddon McCloskey).
Jack was one of the founding members of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California in 1931, and was an active member of the Los Angeles Mineralogical Society. In 1940 Henry Dake wrote of him: "The cabinets of Mr. Rodekohr are outstanding and consist largely of fine crystals and crystal groups. Rare minerals are also a specialty, and his cabinets contain many seldom-seen species."
Rock Currier wrote of him that he “was a mainstay and helper of the society as long as he was alive. He had quite a nice collection, which included a number of fine self-collected specimens. For some years he was also a volunteer curator of the mineral collection at the California Institute of Technology. He collected some of the scheelite (powellite?) from Thompson mine in the Darwin District, Inyo County, California. He also collected what was arguably the best pseudomorph of meyerhofferite after inyoite from the Mount Blanco mine in the Black Mountains, Furnace Creek District, Inyo County, California. (The specimen is still in its special display case at Caltech.) While at Caltech he noticed that there was a truly spectacular large specimen of polybasite from Arizpe, Sonora, Mexico and one of the finest known large specimens of covellite from Sardinia. He saw to it that these were sent to the Smithsonian, probably out of concern that they would be damaged or stolen if left at Caltech. (This was before the time of George Rossman.) He was a man small in stature and very much a straight arrow. You could only respect this man.”
He died on June 10, 1979 in Pasadena, California. His collection of about 2,000 specimens of all sizes (heavy in self-collected material) was purchased and dispersed by Sharon and Gene Cisneros of Mineralogical Research Company.
California Death Index.
Social Security Death Index.
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
U.S. Federal Census, 1900, 1920.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||Jack Rodekohr (1940)|
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