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Obituary of Rodell Francis 'Rod' Lea
RODELL FRANCIS LEA, 74, of Fort Atkinson passed away peacefully December 3, 2022. He was born September 12, 1948 to Jean (Jensen) and Arnold Lea. Rod was a dairy farmer in Fort Atkinson his entire life. He attended a one room school house just down the road from the family farm and graduated from Fort Atkinson High School, class of 1967. He attended UW-Stout Short Course where he met his lifelong friends, Wayne Kuhl and Wally Harrison.
Rod was an avid collector of tractors, both working and toy. He especially loved going to the Iowa toy show every year with Steve Erdman and Tom Beane. He had a passion for anything John Deere. He also loved his cars, owning many convertibles and sports cars throughout the years. Rod’s greatest passion, however, was the family farm. In 2012, he put the farm into the Permanently Protected Farmland program, assuring the farm would be protected from future development.
Rod was involved in many organizations over the years; everything from Pheasants Forever, FFA Alumni to the Jefferson County Dairy Breakfast. He was a silent supporter to many. He loved to travel and did as much as a dairy farmer could. He traveled on agricultural tours to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. He often traveled to his ranch in New Mexico, first via Amtrak and most recently flown down by his step nephew Sam Healy.
Rod was a good man and will be greatly missed by many.
Rod is survived by his brother, Randy Lea; Randy’s children Abby and Brandon, Stepbrother and business partner Ned Healy and his wife Sarah; their children Sam, Keegan and Vincent Healy. Friends that had a special place in his heart, Wayne and Janice Kuhl and Wally Harrison. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be held at East Koshkonong Lutheran Church in Cambridge at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 AM until time of service. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery.
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