Manford Rodger Rakow passed away on March 10, 2023, surrounded by family and friends.
He was raised in Gardnerville NV where he attended Douglas high school. After high school, he married Melba and together they had 5 children and were married for 47 years. They moved to Washoe Valley so Rodger could work and live on the Lightning W Ranch. This is where he discovered his passion for heavy equipment operating. Learning to operate bulldozers and backhoes on the ranch. After his time at the ranch, he worked numerous trades that included well drilling, concrete finishing, automotive and heavy equipment mechanic, as well as owner operator of his own bulldozer for contractors and even fighting fires for the forest service.
Many know he was skilled at just about anything he put his mind to. He could fix just about anything. He was a skilled welder able to build and repair everything from lawn mowers to bulldozers. All these skills came in handy when he bought his first backhoe and started his business in 1976 when Sunrise Backhoe Service was established. He was able to provide a good life for his family with this business.
Through Sunrise Backhoe Service Rodger helped many in the community. He made many friends and lasting business relationships over his 36 years in business. His business was based on repeat customers and word of mouth. People who knew Rodger knew he would get the job done with skill and efficiency.
Rodger enjoyed going to auctions and swap meets, always looking for something he might need to add to his tools or equipment collection. He enjoyed good conversation and spending time with friends and family. Even after retirement from contracting in 2012, you could still see Rodger out driving his backhoe to do a small job or help someone someplace. He was never one to sit around and do nothing. He loved to work. and will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by two brothers, his wife, five children, two grandchildren, one great grandchild, one niece, one nephew, and numerous cousins.
Service will be at Fitzhenry’s Funeral Home 3945 Fairview Dr., Carson City, NV on Saturday, April 1 at 10:00am. Please join us in remembrance. The burial will follow at Fredericksburg Cemetery.