Cover photo for Roderick Ajax Stookey's Obituary
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1943 Roderick 2023

Roderick Ajax Stookey

December 25, 1943 — August 4, 2023

Grantsville

 

“You’ve served me well, my little child; come unto my arms to stay.”

Roderick Ajax Stookey (Rod) was born on Christmas Day in 1943, the second son of Quinby and Eileen Stookey.

After a life of hard work, love and service, he passed away in his home on August 4, 2023, enveloped in love and holding hands with Marcy, his eternal companion and sweetheart wife of nearly 57 years.

Rod was born in San Francisco, California, and along with his brothers, David and Clark, spent his early years in the Bay Area. It was there he had his first job, taking the ferry to sell newspapers on the streets of SF. Even at the age of 4 he had a mind for business. He learned early on that he could sell the entire stack at the local watering hole—and his charmed customers let him keep the papers! Once his parents caught on, they put a stop to this, but his entrepreneurial spirit was born.

Rod’s mom passed away when he was just five years old, and his father followed two short years later. Rod and his brothers were then sent to Utah to be raised by their aunts, Corinne and Berniece. They spent most of their childhood on the family cattle ranch in Clover, Utah. It was there that Rod learned the value of an honest day’s work. He also spent plenty of time, along with his brothers, cousin Johnny, and best friend, Craig, creating havoc in many forms: racing tractors, chasing rabbits, burning barns (literally) and just having the time of their lives. It was during this time he discovered his love for cars and racing.

When he wasn’t working, fishing, or finding mischief, his aunts made sure he focused on music and education. Rod sang and played the piano and guitar. He had a natural ear; he could pick up any instrument and make music. Rod graduated from Tooele High School in 1962. He continued his education at BYU, and later earned a degree in business from LDS Business College in Salt Lake City.

He spent weekends singing and playing lead guitar in his band, the Ascots, at Tooele’s Legion Hall. It was here, in the spring of 1965, that he caught the eye of the love of his life, Virginia Marcella Medina (Marcy). During their courtship, Rod joined the Army. The couple were married on December 2, 1966, and moved to Lawton, Oklahoma, where he was stationed. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted to Vietnam. He spent two years serving in the 180th Army Airlift Helicopter Company unit serving as a Crew Chief on Chinook helicopters. He was also a Crew Chief with the 151st Air Refueling Unit later in his career, where he retired from the Air National Guard. Upon his return from Vietnam, his first son, Kendall, was born. The couple came back to Utah to further grow their family with the birth of their first daughter, Tiffany. During this early time in their marriage Rod invested in his passion for building and racing cars; this may be where his nickname, “Hot Rod,” originated. He was devoted to working with the youth in his church, teaching them everything he knew about cars and music. Many hours were spent building the perfect Pinewood Derby cars.
The couple made their home on Grantsville’s Vine Street in 1974, and their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS temple. They welcomed 3 more children: Melanie, Kimberly, and Jeremy.

He loved his country, the town of Grantsville and sharing all the community activities and traditions there with his family and friends. He looked forward to celebrating the Fourth of July every year.

Rod utilized his mechanical talents throughout his career: Stookey’s Garage on Grantsville’s Main Street; Anaconda, an at-home car repair service; and ultimately, landing at Hercules/Alliant Tech, where he worked until his retirement in early 2000. Regardless of his place of employment, he only had one mode: hard work from dawn until dusk, and with only ever one aim: to provide more than just the basic needs for his wife and children. They truly lived a charmed life, where Marcy was the center. He adored his wife, and his greatest joy was serving her. He worked hard so she could give their children all her attention. Her friends often commented that she was spoiled. There was nothing he would not do for her, nor she for him; for 35 years she made his lunch every morning, complete with heart-shaped sandwiches on special occasions.

She served him daily: teaching and serving his children, keeping a nice home, and having a hot meal ready every night upon his return. Through the examples of their parents, his children were taught to value family above all else. This is his greatest legacy.

Rod was always available to help with a car, whether it belonged to one of his kids, one of his kids’ friends, a neighbor, an extended family member or a stranger he had just met. He gladly helped whenever asked. There was not a machine he could not fix or build! And it wasn’t just with cars—he was the first to step in and help someone in need, but always without fanfare.

His love for animals was nearly as strong as his love for his family. He loved them all—dogs, cats, horses, goats, birds, you name it. He always said we did not deserve them. Every year for his birthday he got to invite all the neighborhood pets inside for breakfast, making him the epitome of a happy kid on Christmas.

His early retirement allowed him time to pursue his passions: traveling with his wife, building hot rods, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He loved the gospel and served in many church callings throughout his life including in the ward bishopric, high priest council, young mens’ organization, and as a temple worker in the Salt Lake temple.

Rod leaves behind his beloved family: wife, Marcy; children: Kendall (Kori) Stookey, Tiffany Stookey, Melanie Stookey, Kimberly Stookey, and Jeremy (Braidi) Stookey. He was also blessed with 10 grandsons, two granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Quinby and Eileen Stookey; his brother, Clark Stookey; his aunts, Berniece Linford and Fannie Dodds; parents-in-law, Felix Vigil and Connie Vigil; and dear friend, Craig Bush.

A viewing will be held from 6-7:30 pm on Tuesday, August 8. Memorial services will be held at 11 am, on Wednesday, August 9, with a viewing from 9:30-10:30 am. All services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 428 South Hale Street in Grantsville. Interment will be at the Grantsville City Cemetery.

The services will be live streamed. Click on the following link to watch the services live: https://grantsville.live/grantsville4th

The family wishes to thank the team of doctors and nurses at the Huntsman Cancer Institute; Mountain West Medical Center ER, ICU and rehabilitation center; Harmony Hospice; Didericksen Memorial, and Grantsville’s 4th ward for all the care and support.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Roderick Ajax Stookey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Mountain time)

LDS Church (428 S Hale St)

428 S Hale St, Grantsville, UT 84029

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Viewing

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

LDS Church (428 S Hale St)

428 S Hale St, Grantsville, UT 84029

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

LDS Church (428 S Hale St)

428 S Hale St, Grantsville, UT 84029

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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