Ruthanna Berniece Carr Rodatz

ROCHELLE — Ruthanna or Sissy was born to George and Dorothy Carr of Shabbona on June 4, 1933.  She died and went to be with her Lord on July 4, 2021 at the age of 88. Independence Day for her!

Ruthanna graduated from Shabbona High School and received her AA Degree from Lee College, Cleveland, Tennessee, her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College and her master’s degree from Northern Illinois University. She taught physical education at Sandwich and Sycamore High School.

She was married to her husband, Walter Carl Rodatz, for 42 years. She and Walt loved to go fishing. They were very involved in two churches in Rochelle where they resided, the Foursquare Church and First Presbyterian.

In 1976 they started the Cornerstone Christian Academy with six preschool students. Today, the school is K-12 with 160 students. Ruthanna was their first principal. In later years she and Walter ran a pre-school in their home.  She loved children though she could not have any.

Ruthanna is preceded in death by her mother and father, her sister, Karen (Daniel) McAuliff, San Jose, California and her brother Michael (Gwen) Carr, Cottontown, Tennessee.  She was also preceded in death by her husband, Walter.

She is survived by a brother, Jack R. Carr of DeKalb and Kathy Corn (Preston) of Gladstone, Missouri and a myriad of nieces and nephews.

Ruthanna lived the last eight years at Franklin Grove Living and Rehabilitation Center and loved the staff who took care of her there and was loved by them as well.

Ruthanna was a very devout Christian woman with a wonderful laugh and sense of humor! She loved silly jokes. Her faith was lived out every day. Sissy loved her Lord Jesus Christ and would tell anyone about His love and Salvation.

She was a kind and generous woman who helped out family and friends many times in her long life. She was a giver in many ways. Her wisdom was only surpassed by her grace that she gave to others. In her last years, she was incapacitated by Parkinson’s Disease and was unable to move. Now she is playing volleyball in Heaven!

Her Celebration of Life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Rochelle on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. Online streaming services will be at First Presbyterian Church Facebook or YouTube.

In lieu of flowers:  All memorials should go to Aurora Christian Schools Cornerstone Campus at 355 N. Cross St., Sycamore, IL 60178.  Funeral services are entrusted to the Beverage Lyons Family Funeral Home at 704 N 6th St. in. Rochelle. Online condolences may be made at


More In Obituaries