Rodney's Story

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HARTWICK SEMINARY — Rodney H. Ingalls died Nov. 19, 2013, at the age of 94. He lived a long and exemplary life.
He was a descendent of the first Ingalls who came to the new world in 1628 and settled Lynn, Mass. Rodney was the son of a sixth generation farmer. He was born May 7, 1919, at the family farm homestead on Christian Hill. He was the only child of Harry Clark Ingalls and Theresa Chapman Ingalls. At the age of three, his family moved to Hartwick Seminary, where Rod eventually owned and operated the family farm, known as the ‘Clover Leaf Farm’. His father, Harry, was very progressive in farming. He had the first milking machine and the first tractor in the township.
Rodney graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1936. He received a four year grant to Cornell University where he graduated in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in ‘Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.’
On July 27, 1942, Rodney enlisted in the U.S. Navy and entered into active service as a Naval Aviator. Even though farm sons were exempt from compulsory enlistment, Rodney chose to enlist. He flew reconnaissance missions in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres off the aircraft carrier USS Guam. His flight assignment was to search for U-boats. He attained the rank of Lieutenant JG and received an honorable discharge from the US Naval Service on Dec. 12, 1945.
On June 16, 1944, while in active service, he married Virginia Mary McGraw. His justification for taking on a ‘war bride’ was that the Navy paid more to married officers. Virginia predeceased him after 62 years of marriage.
After his military service, Rodney returned to the family farm where he and his father founded the Cooperstown Dairy and raised a herd of purebred Guernsey cows. His first love became that of raising gladiolus flowers, honey bees, vegetables and You-Pick Strawberries and Blueberries. The farm was once complimented as being the ‘Jewel of the County.’
Each Spring Rodney would work out of his home office preparing people’s tax returns. He liked people and he liked business, so this avocation came naturally.
After the death of Virginia on April 26, 2007, he married Betty Niles Phipps on June 29, 2008, in a ceremony at his home in Hartwick Seminary.
Throughout his life, Rodney was a faithful church-goer. For years he was especially committed to working with the teenage youth group. Equally important was his faith in the God of the scriptures to whom he trusted his life. Micah 6:8 is a scripture verse that characterized Rodney’s earthly walk: “…what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Rodney is survived by his wife, Betty of Harwick Seminary; two sons and daughters-in-law, Paul and Deborah Ann Ingalls and David and Darlene Ingalls, all of Hartwick Seminary; one daughter and son-in-law, Marybeth and Jeffrey Ring of Baltimore, Md.; 13 grandchildren, Jesse Ingalls and his wife, Amber, Jenny Lynn Brett and her husband, Charles, Justin Ingalls, Joanna Ingalls, Nathanael Ingalls, Benjamin Ingalls and his wife, Serapha, Micah Ingalls and his wife, Heidi, Peter Mark Ingalls and his wife, Erica, Lynsey Ring Dimas and her husband, Tim, Joshua Ring and his wife, Leigh, Heather Brown and her husband, Randal, Tessa Ring and Priscilla Ring; one stepson, Jonathan Phipps and his wife, Kim McCorkle of Canada; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one son, Timothy H. Ingalls, who died at the age of 6 on Feb. 10, 1963.
The Ingalls family received friends at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, from 3 to 5 and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A Funeral Service was offered at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, at the Community Bible Chapel on Greenough Road in Toddsville, with the Rev. John Klosheim, pastor, officiating. The Service of Committal and Burial followed in the Hartwick Seminary Cemetery. Military Honors at the cemetery were accorded by members of the Cooperstown Veterans Club and the United States Navy Funeral Honor Guard.
Arrangements were under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  November 27, 2013
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