Roxanna Rodriguez, age 55

Roxanna Marie Rodriguez

Roxanna Rodriguez, age 55, Philip, S.D., died Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at her home.
Roxanna Kjerstad was born May 25, 1962, to Lilly Louise Dean and Lawrence Kjerstad at St. John’s Hospital in Rapid City. She grew up in Rapid Valley, enjoying a simple life playing in her mother’s garden. Besides loving dolls, as most young girls do, it was in this garden that she came to love plants and flowers. Chickens, cows, and sheep became her playmates; she even named three of the sheep: “Love,” “Joy,” and “Peace.” Those little sheep would follow her to the school bus stop. Her favorite cow was named “Sweet Chops.”
When Roxanna was 13 years old, tragedy struck the family which changed her life course forever. Her mom, Louise, died unexpectedly. Roxanna started studying the Bible soon after this. When she was 15, she was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 
A few years after her baptism, she and Tom Rodriguez met at a social gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses and soon fell in love. On Nov. 9, 1979, they married. 
Simple pleasures in life meant a great deal to them – having a cup of coffee together, sitting and talking about spiritual things with their friends. They made their first home in Rapid City. In 1981, they moved to Denver, Colo. Thirteen years later, they returned to South Dakota to be closer to family. After prayerfully considering a request from the circuit overseer to help a little congregation, Tom and Roxanna moved once again. Philip became their new home in May of 1996. Together they made Jehovah’s name known to the residents of a 3,000 square mile area. She enjoyed 17 years of full-time service as a Regular Pioneer and attended two Pioneer schools. She loved teaching the Bible’s message to all who would listen. Throughout these busy years Roxanna still found time to become a massage therapist, helping others with their physical aches and pains.
Roxanna’s contagious and unmistakable laugh was a strong characteristic of her loving personality. Even through the laughter she faced many challenges in life – one was losing her sight in later years. Despite this handicap, Roxanna was always faithful in her meeting attendance, her personal study of the Bible and in fulfilling her assignments for the midweek meeting. Never in 38 years of service to Jehovah did she miss a month of witnessing to others about her love for her God. And she always supported Tom in his assignment as an elder in the congregation. Roxanna was like a tugboat, steady as she went. If someone needed a tug, she was there, pulling them along. 
When Tom asked her what one thing she was hoping to do when she attained her heavenly reward, her answer was that besides seeing Jehovah God and His son, Jesus, she was hoping to see the “four living creatures” mentioned in Revelation, especially the face of the lions. She said that she knew Jehovah must love cats. Everyone knew that she loved cats! 
On the last day of her life on this earth, Roxanna heard her dear friend’s voice reading the Bible to her. Jehovah’s word always comforted her. With her heavenly hope in front of her, she would say, “I won’t be too far away.”
Survivors include her husband, Tom Rodriguez, Philip; four sisters, Marion Edwards, Rapid City, Martha Kjerstad, San Diego, Calif., Phyllis Deaton, Carson City, Nev., and Elizabeth Jackson, Newell; two brothers, Peter Kjerstad, Rogers, Ark., and Scott Hall, Phoenix, Ariz.; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Roxanna was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Louise Kjerstad.
  Memorial services will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1:30 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1111 Oriole Dr., Rapid City.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Her online guestbook is available at

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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