In Memory of



Obituary for Rodd Heiden

Rodd Charles Heiden died suddenly on September 24, 2022. He was 58. Rodd was a loving, devoted husband and father, and will be missed forever by his wife Shelly and his son Reid, as well as by his wider circle of family and friends.

Rodd lived his early years in Michigan and spent many summers at his family’s lake house before moving to Northern Virginia with his mom and relatives. His grandfather told his mom that if Rodd were born on his birthday, he would pin $100 on his diaper. Just to be contrary, Rodd was born the day after. He was his mom’s baby boy; she was still making him an Easter basket every year, until Shelly decided he was way too old for that. His mom never stopped making her famous sugar cookies for her baby boy. As a young child, Rodd would make the family sit in the backyard while he serenaded everyone with “Go Away Little Girl” and “Puppy Love”. Luckily, his musical tastes evolved.

He and Shelly met in 1986.  He lured her into thinking she was dating an 80’s hair band rocker bad boy, with his long blond hair and musician’s lifestyle, but it turned out to be a false front for his genuinely kind and gentle heart.  They married in 1994.

He was a gifted drummer and rocked in more than a few bands. He released a CD with his band Wire to Wire, and then put his music on the back burner when Reid was born. He was a pioneering stay-at-home dad, at a time when it was unusual. He endured both judgement and flirting by the moms waiting at the school gate, and gave his son, Reid, a stable and secure foundation in life.

Being a stay-at-home dad, he developed a special relationship with his son. Whether it was taking him to various sports practices or making sure he’d eaten, Rodd put Reid first. He always went out of his way to spend time with him and created an everlasting bond.

Rodd was a deeply kind man, one whose ego didn't need affirmation of his many small acts of generosity. He was always the first to pitch in when there were jobs to be done.  He loved his small traditions, and kept to them diligently.  He didn’t enjoy baking, but made Shelly a home-baked cake for her birthday each year.  He didn’t particularly like cooking either, but was famous for his home-made potato soup, which he made in epic quantities.  Rodd loved his succession of dogs and was devoted to them all.  His dog Durum is grieving the loss of his best friend.


Rodd was an athlete, and enjoyed pushing himself physically.  He was the best water skier in the family, a runner, a golfer, and an avid weightlifter.  He was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of fitness and nutrition with anyone interested.  He was a dedicated cigar aficionado, with an impressive collection, and entertained everyone with his arctic Michelin Man get-up for his winter cigar sessions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when it wasn’t safe to gather indoors as a group, Rodd worked hard to make a success of the extended family’s Christmas-in-the-garage.  He hung lights and decorated a tree, he sourced heaters for his always-cold mother-in-law, he arranged seating, he installed speakers, and he made everyone welcome.  In his typically generous way, he made it the best Christmas it was possible to have. Rodd will be eternally missed and forever in our hearts. Services for Rodd will be held at a later date.