If you ever met Dr. Rod White-Stevens, you wouldn’t forget him. Dr. Rod was the kind of genius who could play trivia solo versus his entire extended family and win. He could trill whistle and hum at the same time in three-part harmony. No category fit him.
Dr. Rodric H. White-Stevens of Peachtree City, Georgia, was born in Port Jefferson, New York, on June 11, 1944, to Dr. Lillian Jaffin White-Stevens and Dr. Robert H. White-Stevens. He studied concert piano and was valedictorian of Nyack High School in 1961. While in high school his sister Pam introduced him to Jesus, a relationship he treasured for a lifetime.
Rod graduated from MIT with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Music in 1965, and got his PhD from Duke in Biochemistry in 1971. At Duke he found his lifelong love, his wife of 52 years, Rev. Jane Kieser White-Stevens.
Dr. Rod worked as a research biochemist for Miles Laboratories for fifteen years where he received five patents for his work on at-home test strips for the pharmaceutical industry.
In his professional career, Dr. Rod was most proud of his work as a professor at Bethel University in Indiana, where he taught over 1000 nurses chemistry, math, and biochemistry for 19 years.
Dr. Rod also sang the lowest bass part with the Elkhart Symphony Chorus and the South Bend Symphony Chorus where he was a soloist. He adored classical music, boasting a huge collection.
Dr. Rod loved to play the stock market. Investments were his playground. He had a vast collection of minerals and crystals. He was known to write chemical structures on napkins at the dinner table while teaching his family about basic chemistry.
Dr. Rod’s favorite thing to do was eat. He tried foods from all over the world while traveling with his family and while on mission trips.
In his personal life, Dr. Rod was most proud of his family, especially how he had created a legacy of education and learning for them. Every time the family got together, which was at least once a week, he expressed his love and how much he treasured their presence with him.
Rodric White-Stevens is survived by his beloved wife Jane; son Ryan (Christal) White-Stevens; daughter Ellie White-Stevens (Matt White); and grandchildren Ash and Nathan White; Isaiah White-Stevens; and Gabriel, Bianca and Leyla Apestegui. He is also survived by his brother Timothy White-Stevens, and many nephews, great-nephews, and great-nieces.
Dr. Rod was preceded in death by both of his parents, his sister Pamela Lakey, his brother Derek White-Stevens, and his spiritual daughter Cathy Perman Kiess.
Dr. Rod died on April 20, 2023, at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville, Georgia, of heart failure brought on by a myriad of health conditions. He was 78. He was so much larger than life that his family is not sure how the void of his passing will be filled, but we are assured that the Jesus that Dr. Rod served has him now and will keep him happy and well-fed in heaven.
The family will host visitation at Mowell Funeral Home in Peachtree City, Georgia, on Friday May 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Go Church in Sharpsburg, Georgia, Saturday, May 6 at noon.
To honor the life and work of Dr. Rod, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to TEAM Alliance and their school for impoverished children in Kenya at 11401 Anderson Rd., Granger IN 46530 or www.teamalliance.us.