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Relatives & friends will be received on Saturday October 13, 2018 from 10:00 - 11:00 AM at the Pancoast Funeral Home, 676 S. Main Rd., Vineland, NJ followed by a memorial service at 11:00 AM.

Obituaries » Dr. Steven L. Rodis

Dr. Steven L. Rodis

Vineland – Steven Louis Rodis, 76, passed away on September 29, 2018 in Newfoundland, PA surrounded by his wife, daughter and son-in law.

Steven Louis Rodis was born in Washington, D.C. on May 12, 1942 to Leona and Jerry Rodis. Steve attended high school at Landon School for Boys in Bethesda, MD before attending Centre College of Kentucky where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963. Following college, Steven attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he earned a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Pharmacology in 1970. In 1972, Steven graduated from the M.D. program at The University of Michigan. He then entered the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where he was elected Senior Intern and completed his internship in June of 1973. While there Steven was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and was accepted at the Navy Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA for his Ophthalmology Residency. Steven performed his residency at the Scheie Eye Institute & Wills Eye Hospital before completing his residency with the International Eye Foundation in Harar, Ethiopia where he provided free care to its citizens. In 1977 he was promoted to full Commander, Chief of Ophthalmology, and Chairman of the Ophthalmology program at Navy Regional Medical Center, Philadelphia. It was there that he met his wife, CJ, a Navy nurse, whom he married in 1974. They soon moved to Vineland, NJ where they have resided for several decades. While living in Vineland, Steven learned that his grandparents, the Opachinsky family from Norma was buried in Alliance Cemetery, established by the Am Olam Movement, a group of families escaping persecution in Russia that settled in this rural Southern New Jersey as the first Jewish agricultural colony in the United States. Steven was very proud of this heritage and connection to the community.

After leaving the Navy, he joined Dr. Theodore Buckner’s practice and in 1980 and soon took over Dr. Samuel Pole’s practice in Bridgeton, NJ opening a satellite office in Millville. In 1981 he went to Moscow, Russia and studied Radial Keratotomy, for correction of nearsightedness and astigmatism. At the time, he was one of the few ophthalmologists in this country doing this procedure. In 1984 Dr. Rodis built a large office on High Street in Millville, NJ, the first ambulatory surgical center in Southern New Jersey. Dr. Rodis cared for the sight of many thousands of Cumberland County residents during his 38 years in private practice and brought many innovations to the area such as the YAG laser for after-cataract films and the first excimer laser correction of nearsighted­ness in the region.

Dr. Rodis extended his passion for providing care by starting The Rodis Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving high school students that demonstrated an interest in perusing ophthalmic studies. The Foundation also provided care to children and adults in many areas of the world that did not have access to state of the art eye care including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Western Samoa as well as Bratsk in Siberia. He and his partner, Jay Blevins, along with Tissue Banks of America, opened the first eye bank in Southeast Asia in Burma in 1996. He was elected as the first post-war American member of the Vietnamese Ophthalmology Society. He was on the Board of Directors for The Enrichment Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and received their Citizen with a Heart Award. In 1993 he received the “Pride of Vineland” award. He was also a member of the American Legion Nabb-Leslie Post 82.

Dr. Rodis is survived by his wife, CJ, as well as his daughter, Christina Rodis-Durst, son-in-law, Ricky Durst, and granddaughter Alxis Rodis all of Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.

Relatives & friends will be received on Saturday October 13, 2018 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at the Pancoast Funeral Home, 676 S. Main Rd., Vineland, NJ followed by a memorial service at 11:00 AM. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Steven Rodis’ name to The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan.org) or The Enrichment Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (mwCenterForTheBlind.com). The non-profit foundations listed can also be viewed at www.inmemoryof-memorial.org/steven-rodis. To e-mail condolences or tributes please visit www.pancoastfuneralhome.com