In Memory of

Paul Elmer Roder

October 11, 1942 - May 27, 2023


Paul Elmer Roder, 80, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away on May 27th, 2023, 4 ½ years after his diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer.  

Paul was born on a small farm near Remsen, Iowa, to a hard-working Luxembourg family. He graduated from Remsen St. Mary’s schools before attending Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he majored in Education and Classical Language. After graduation, he studied at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, for 4 years where he was ordained a Catholic priest. He served as a priest in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, in several parishes and as a high school Latin and Religion teacher and as a tennis coach. After leaving the priesthood, he moved to Kansas City, MO, where he worked as a counselor at Catholic Charities. He eventually became Director of Catholic Charities in St. Joseph, MO for 5 years. When he returned to KC, he served at the Chancery for 7 years before establishing his own Roder Counseling Services which he ran from 1990 until retiring in 2018. 

Paul proudly wrote and published 3 books: Balance After Chaos (2011), Do You See What I See? (2019), and Star Thrower & Caregivers (2022). 

Paul is survived by his wife Betty, of 43 years; 3 children – John (Rachael) of Tampa, FL, Philip (Kristen), and Becky (David Ramm) of Lee’s Summit, MO; 4 grandchildren; Halle, Nora, Jayden & Lucas; many nieces and nephews; one brother, Dick (Mary) of Remsen; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Linda (Larry Ahrens), Barb (Mark Reding), Cheryl (Paul Morris), Denny Schemmel and Helen Roder. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Al & Sylvia Roder; siblings, Jim, Gerald (Clarice), Janice Klein, Karen Schemmel; in-laws Wesley & Delores Ohde, Robert Ohde, Larry & Edie Ohde, Merlyn Klein, Sue & Scott Zandt.  

Paul loved God, his Church and his family. He enjoyed fishing, watching the Chiefs and Royals, gardening, yard work, and bird watching on the back deck. He was also an avid sports player, holding records in high school basketball (points scored in a season) at St. Mary’s High School. He enjoyed playing tennis and handball. Most of all, he loved encouraging and mentoring his children, grandchildren, and countless others. 

Services will be held on Friday, June 2nd, 2023, at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church located at 8941 James A Reed Road, Kansas City, MO 64138. The visitation will begin at 9:30 am with Mass to follow at 11 am. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery (7601 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO 64138). A luncheon will be held at St. John Francis Regis Parish Hall immediately following burial. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Prostate Cancer Foundation or The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). 


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We were saddened to hear about Paul. He was a great neighbor and friend. Our condolences to Betty, John, Phil and Becky….

Rest in heavenly peace Paul.

Thinking of you all and praying for you in Paul’s absence. Prayers for comfort.

He was such an interesting, fun, kind, gentle man. I know he will be missed dearly.

Heaven received him with joy and the beautiful bells were playing, I can only imagine!

Our prayers and thoughts are with you at your loss. May grant him eternal rest. His date of death is my anniversary of ordination in 1988. God bless . I will offer 3 masses for his intention from each of us. Rev. Terry Roder, Marvin and Paula Roder, Wayne and Jill Roder—the Joseph and RoseMary Roder family.

Sorry to hear of his passing. He was very kind to us in our time of need.

Betty, Becky, Philip and John. I am so sorry for your loss. Paul was a gentleman always, faith filled and always hopeful. I enjoyed our many conversations over the years. May memories comfort and sustain you. Ann

So sorry for your loss our prayers are with you and your family

This is a lovely tribute. Although I never met Paul, I am so sorry for your loss. Phil Roder is one of my favorite people on this planet so for that Paul, rest easy and know you raised a wonderful son. Prayers for all.

My sympathy & prayer to Betty & all your family. I was two years behind Paul in my studies at Loras College & then I was able to attend Paul’s presbyteral ordination in Rome. As pastor at St. Lawrence in Carroll I was able to serve Betty’s parents. Paul was an inspiration in my seminary years. He was thoughtful & intelligent. He was a servant to Our Lord and his disciples. Peace be with him & with his family.

Paul was a beloved and well-respected priest in the Diocese of Sioux City. Although his departure was met with sadness at the time, knowing that he subsequently prospered–both personally and professionally–was a source of gladness for his former priest colleagues. May he rest in peace.

Paul was a wonderful friend in Rome. We travelled together a couple of times, played handball and had many wonderful experiences. Because of Paul, I managed to meet his relatives in Luxembourg. A great man indeed!

As a classmate of Paul’s at the North American College and Gregorian University, I would like to share my sympathies and prayers as well as those of all his classmates. Paul was a friend to all of us and just a wonderful faith-filled man.

I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories bring you comfort. 🙏🙏🙏
Jane Schaffer

Paul and I were friends at the North American College in Rome and we reconnected a few years ago. What a wonderful human being dedicated to helping others. I know his faith, family and friendships were very important to him. He made the world a better place for being here. A lot to celebrate in his life. He will be missed.

Dear Becky and Family,
My deepest sympathy to you. Paul’s death is a great loss for you all. I was a classmate of Paul’s at the North American College in Rome and remember him as a good leader, reliable friend and always willing to help. His life was a great gift to so many. May he rest in peace. I will offer Mass in thanksgiving for his life as we commend him to God’s loving care.
Msgr. Jed Patrick

Dear Betty and family! I’m so sorry about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Paul was a wonderful neighbor. He will be missed.

Betty and family so sorry to here about Paul. Prayers go out to all of you. He was a very good neighbor and friend. Lorraine Amy and Sara

Thought and prayers to Betty, John, Philip, and Becky. I’m very sorry for your loss. Even though we did not see each other often, I always enjoyed my talks with Uncle Paul. As my Dad Jim and Paul were the youngest boys in the family, Dad had some very good stories of their times growing up together that I will always remember. May you rest in peace Uncle Paul!!

Betty and all the Roder family,
My sympathy and prayers for Paul and all of you. I studied in Rome with Paul and was blessed to have him as a friend. He was a man of faith, a servant of God and God’s people. Paul was salt of the earth. May he rest in peace.
Gene Ulses
Papillion. Nebraska

Please accept our sincere sympathy in this time of great loss. Paul was a good friend, advisor, and mentor. We remember him fondly from our years in Marriage Encounter. May he rest in heavenly peace. Our prayers are with you Betty, Philip, John, and Becky. May God bless and give you comfort!

We are so sorry for your deep loss. Paul was a wonderful friend during our. years in Rome,and his warmth, kindness , and deeply caring spirit were gifts which I am sure touched many hearts on his journey.

Remembering Paul in my prayers and thoughts today. Karen, Paul’s sister, and I were classmates and friends growing up. My times at the Roder home are very special to me. Paul and his family will be in my prayers. Rest in Peace, Paul.

My thoughts and prayers to the family. I really enjoyed Paul when I was a student at Kuemper HS (Class of 1977), he was one of my favorite teachers ❤️

Paul and Betty both taught me in my freshman year of high school in the mid 70s. Though I had limited time to get to know them, they were great examples of what I want to be as a teacher and human. Paul’s wisdom and compassion changed the trajectory of my life. I wish to express my sympathy to Betty, but also my gratitude that she and Paul were the type of people who make a positive difference in the world.

My deepest sympathy Betty and family. I am A high school classmate of Paul. We were deeply academically competitive. Paul went to college and the priesthood. I went to work and was married and continued to study. Today a classmate forwarded Paul’s obituary to me. You and your family will be included in my prayers.


Friday, June 2, 2023
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church
8941 James A. Reed Road
Kansas City, MO 64138


Friday, June 2, 2023
11:00 AM Mass
St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church
8941 James A. Reed Road
Kansas City, MO 64138