Deacon Rodger Creel passed away at the age of 80 on July 17 surrounded by family and friends at his home. Deacon Creel served at Shrine of St. Anne’s in Arvada during his active ministry and assisted at Holy Trinity and St. Scholastica as a retired Deacon.
Rodger Lee Jude Creel was born Sept. 9, 1940, to Frank and Gertrude Creel in Campbellsville, Ken. His parents divorced while Creel was still young, leaving his mom to raise him. His mom, belonging to The Christian Church in Campbellsville, would take a young Rodger to her church on Sundays. After finishing high school in Campbellsville, he went on to work for an insurance company, and later for a mortuary in his hometown. Eventually, he would land a job with IBM where he excelled from being a clerk to an Executive Business Planner. IBM would eventually move Rodger to Boulder, Colo. where he established residence with his family.
Despite the difficulties he experienced, Creel excelled in everything he did; particularly, in his desire to have a close relationship with God. As he grew in age, Creel became attracted to the beauty and majesty of the Catholic Church. He would often tell fascinating stories of his experiences and encounters he had with Catholic churches and monasteries in Kentucky. He had wonderful encounters with nuns, priests and friends throughout his youth and young adulthood that were interesting to hear.
One of these special experiences was with his future wife, Dena. Rodger and Dena were married Oct 12, 1962, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Campbellsville, Ken. After getting married, Creel joined his wife in the Catholic Church when he was baptized Dec. 18, 1969, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Lexington, Ken. The couple was blessed with three sons: Terrance, Stephen, and Joseph.
On June 8, 1996, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, in Denver, Deacon Creel was ordained to the order of the diaconate by Archbishop Francis Stafford. From there he was immediately assigned to Shrine of St. Anne in Arvada, where he served throughout his active ministry. Deacon Creel brought the diaconal gift of a personal touch by helping others get through dramatic grief experiences in their lives.
“He had a special ability to be able to reach into the heart of a person’s grief and bring peace just through his presence,” said Deacon Joseph Donohoe, Director of Deacon Personnel. “Anyone who met Deacon Rodger became his friend immediately. His kindness and compassion were diaconal traits that made him special within our community of Deacons.”
A Funeral Vigil was held for Deacon Creel July 22 at Sacred Heart of Mary in Boulder. A Mass of Christian Funeral was held at Sacred Heart of Mary July 23, followed by Christian Burial.