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Rodger Lee Rufer, Sr.

Rodger Lee Rufer Sr., 80, passed away August 31. Visitation will be held 6-8 PM Wednesday, Sept. 8, at Merle Hay Funeral Home and a funeral service will be held the following day, Sept. 9, at 1:00 PM at the same location.

Oldest son of Lennis and Ruth Rufer, Rodger was born and raised in Des Moines. He attended Valley High School where he played the trumpet. He married Linda Tilley and they had three children, Rodger (Rod) Jr., Eric, & Rebecca (Becca.) Rodger worked for Hy-Line International and moved his young family to Florida, Brazil, and Peru, before settling back in Des Moines. He loved telling stories of their adventures in South America and the wonderful foods he remembered from his time there.

Rodger met Bonnie Haley while working at Look Magazine and they married and shortly after moved to a street of new houses in Urbandale where they had a daughter, Carrie. He worked at Graphics Corporation and then moved on to become a founding partner at Truepenny Studios and then the Phoenix Group. After retiring he kept up with freelance graphics projects. As a devoted follower of Jesus, he loved serving his church, whether it be hosting youth group gatherings, packaging meals for those in need, or working behind the coffee and doughnut table on Sunday mornings. A soft-voiced perfectionist, he enjoyed woodworking, home improvement, and problem solving, and was known for his beautiful flowers and yard. He could talk for hours about flowers and gardening. He was an early adopter of Macintosh computers, which he could bend to his will to produce digital graphics. He kept his home improvement skills up with work at the Ace Hardware of Johnston, repairing windows and screens, and advising the younger generations on how to fix and maintain their homes.

He is survived by his aunts Lois Howard, Lucille Zenor, brother Steve (Sugar) Rufer, sister Krista (Merle) McCallister, children Rodger Rufer Jr. (Kelly Nelson), Eric Rufer, Rebecca (Becca) Baum, Carrie (Josh) Goodman, grandchildren Jessica Meinzer, Trish (Xavier) Ortiz, Arlette (Dillon) Blythe, Ryan Baum, Lincoln Goodman, great-grandchildren Illianna, Anara, Lalin, Alexis and Breanna.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Bonnie.


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to World Vision International https://www.worldvision.org/donate