Rodger Lee Pevehouse, cowboy, outlaw, ladies’ man, lover of grass (sod that is), died on July 23, 2021, at the young age of 77. His infectious joy of life and smile will be carried on by his children Todd Pevehouse (Denise) and Jill Pevehouse Kennon (Carl) and his granddaughter Alexandra. As his daughter, I will always appreciate the life skills he gave me. He taught me to shoot from the hip and fly by the seat of my pants. (And to never frequent establishments called “lounge” or didn’t have windows.) He was born and lived his entire life in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and the last three years of his life in Palm Coast, Florida near his favorite (only) daughter.
He leaves his wife Joyce, stepson Chase (Megan) and three step grandchildren.
Rodger was preceded in death by his father Ed Pevehouse, mother Roberta Kay Rodgers Pevehouse Anderson and his brother Bob Ed Pevehouse. As a third generation (that we know) victim of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dad’s greatest gift to me is how he dealt with his diagnosis with humor and grace and planned the rest of his life to “have fun every single day”. He also laid a clear road map of his wishes, so that I never had to question a decision.
Rodger leaves his nearly lifelong best friend and co-conspirator, Tom Robertson, and near saint status friend Joe Gish, who assumed the role as his first caregiver, driver and running buddy. Tom is sure to have many glasses of fine scotch raised in Dad’s honor, and we hope Joe has a lot of fun riding their beloved Cushman Scooters for many years. Dad’s first Cushman was a gift from his grandfather in his early teens and is responsible for his false upper teeth. Dad and Joe found great joy in restoring, riding and traveling with their three vintage Cushman Scooters, (well after Dad was told not to drive).
Rodger leaves many loving caregivers, Anita, Efe, Sharon, Dahlia, Eboni, Kammie, Natalie, and others, and his hospice nurse Heather. Women loved him and I constantly heard how sweet he was, but “a little handsy”. I always cringed with the latest “report” from the assisted living center. In his final years, he loved to dance, enjoyed music and happy hour. He got to pet a horse last month and went to the beach a few days before he died. He was a man of simpler pleasures, such as coping a feel.
In the early days, he and his older brother found all kinds of ways to torment their cousin Linda, a skill he apparently passed on to my brother Todd. He tried to be a rodeo cowboy but was deemed “too brittle” by his father, after numerous broken bones falling from bucking horses. He continued his life of mayhem with his best friend Tom into college at the University of Arkansas but was thrown out in his second year for running an illicit gambling den in the dorm.
From college, he decided it was time to grow up, and in a matter of months he owned the National Livestock Commission Company and married his first wife Donna. Within 5 years, they had two children. Fidelity was never his strong suit, and that marriage ended after 30 years, and a second with present wife Joyce began.
After a very early retirement from the livestock business, he grew bored and started hanging out at the maintenance shed at his country club. When the golf course superintendent took a new job, Dad decided he would fill the position. He loved learning about grass and gained many friends in business and with the Arkansas Turfgrass Association. He enjoyed creating a golf course for the First Tee of Fort Smith program in 2002. After leaving the golf course, he grew bored again and bought and operated a sod farm. During an interview for an Alzheimer’s drug trial, he was asked about his hobbies. “I like to cut grass” he answered. What else? they asked. “I like to cut my neighbors’ grass”.
Dad was a chip off the ol’ block, and like his father Ed, never met a stranger and fell in love with every child he ever met. Fortunately for all, I was able to squelch the tradition that our grandfather started of handing money to children he encountered in public. That never went over well when Dad tried it in recent history. Go figure? He never lost his good attitude, even as the frustrations of daily life were trying to smack him down. You will always be my favorite Dad.
No services will be held. Rodger will be laid to rest next to his brother and father at Rose Lawn Cemetery in Ft. Smith.
The Pevehouse family requests that donations be made in Rodger’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the memory care charity of your choice. Even better, honor Rodger by donating your time with seniors and start planning your own life’s exit to give your kids a break one day.