Senior United States District Judge Rodney S. Webb, 74, of Fargo, N.D., died Sunday, August 9, 2009, at MeritCare Hospital, Fargo.
Rodney Scott Webb was born June 21, 1935, in Cavalier, N.D., son of Chester and Aylza (Martin) Webb.
Rodney married Betty Lykken, August 31, 1957, at the Hitterdal Lutheran Church in Adams, North Dakota. They were married for 52 years.
He graduated from University of North Dakota with a B.S.B.A. degree from the College of Business in 1957, and earned his J.D. with distinction from the Law School in 1959. While attending U.N.D., he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity and the Sigma Chi Social Fraternity. Rodney played football for four years on a U.N.D. scholarship.
After graduation, Rodney practiced law in Grafton, North Dakota, from 1959-1981, with the Ringsak, Webb, Rice & Metelmann Law Firm. During this time he was the Walsh County States Attorney and the president of the North Dakota States Attorney Association. He then went on to become the Grafton Municipal Judge and the Special Assistant Attorney General for North Dakota.
Judge Webb was appointed the United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota by President Ronald Reagan on October 8, 1981. Reagan then appointed him United States District Judge for the District of North Dakota in 1987. He became Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota on January 1, 1993, reached Senior Status as of January 1, 2002, and continued to work until June 2009.
Rodney was a member of the United States Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys and member of the Indian Affairs Subcommittee. Judge Webb retired from the North Dakota Army National Guard J.A.G. Corps with the rank of Colonel. He was also a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administrative Office in Washington D.C.
In 1998, Rodney was awarded the Significant Sig National Award by his social fraternity; in 1999, he received the Sioux Award, the highest award given by the University of North Dakota Alumni Association; in 2007, he was U.N.D. Law School's inaugural Distinguished Jurist in Residence; and in 2009, he received the Light of Justice Award from the North Dakota Trial Lawyers Association.
Rodney is survived by his wife, Betty, Fargo, N.D.; his children, Sharon (Scott) Roche, Grand Forks, N.D.; Crystal (David) Wosick, Fargo, N.D.; Todd (Angela) Webb, Grand Rapids, Minn.; Wade (Linn) Webb, Fargo, N.D.; Susan (Jason) Yackee, Madison, Wisc.; his brother, Lyle (Sheryl) Webb, Bremerton, Wash.; 12 grandchildren: Ian and Conor Roche; Grant, Hope, Grace and Miles Wosick; Daniel and Jack Webb; Nicholas and Thomas Webb; Lila and Magill Yackee.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant daughter, Rebecca Jean Webb.
Memorials may be sent to the U.N.D. Law School's Rodney and Betty Webb Endowment, the Hope Lutheran Foundation, and Churches United for the Homeless.
Funeral Service: Thursday, August 13, 2009, at 2:00 PM, Hope Lutheran Church ~ South Campus at 3636 25th St. S., Fargo, N.D.
Visitation: Wednesday, August 12, 2009, from 5-8 PM, at Hope Lutheran Church ~ South Campus.
Prayer Service: Wednesday, August 12, 2009, at 7 PM, at Hope Lutheran Church ~ South Campus.
Burial: Grafton Lutheran Cemetery, Grafton, N.D., at a later date.
August 10, 2009