In the early morning hours on July 4, 2021 our loving husband, father, brother, cousin and friend was called to rest. Rodrick Emerson Northern, lovingly known as “Rod” or “Roddy” was born on March 7, 1951 in Norfolk, Virginia, to the late Paul Emerson Northern and Eva Morris Richardson Northern. He was the second of four children and was educated in the Norfolk Public School system, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School Class of 1969. He married Shirley Carroll on July 4, 1981 in Erie PA. They were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.
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After graduation Rod’s fascination with computers began in 1969 when he became infatuated with Star Trek and the Starship enterprise and its computer systems. He enrolled in the Computer Learning Center of Tidewater, Norfolk, VA. Shortly after completing his training he was drafted and set to be inducted into the U.S. Army when he happened upon a U.S. Navy chief. He asked the chief if it was too late to join the Navy instead. The chief took him down the hall, had him sign on the dotted line and so it began….
After two years as a seaman on the USS Shreveport LPD-12, and to his delight he got orders to data processing ‘A’ school and subsequently assigned to shore duty at the Naval Station, Norfolk, VA as a Computer Operator .
In 1974 he decided to leave the Navy and try his luck in the civilian world. Rod missed working with computers so after two weeks working on the assembly line at the GE plant Portsmouth, Virginia, Rod quit and returned to the Navy… duty station. Adak, Alaska.. a little island in the middle of nowhere, but back working with his beloved computers. After a year he was ordered back to Naval Station, Norfolk, VA where he stayed for three years until he left the Navy for good, or so he thought. He would eventually return to the U.S. Navy as a reservist and served for a total of 20 years.
In 1978 he joined the Army Corps of Engineers as a civilian computer operator, but soon accepted a position with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts from where he retired in December 2011. Rod has held various positions at the Administrative office of the U. S. Courts, including lead computer operator, dayshift supervisor, computer equipment analyst (specializing in application server hardware and retired after 41 years as an IT specialist working with wide area networks and local area networks.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 40 years Shirley, daughter Allison Northern, sons Christopher Carroll and Nicholas Twyman (Jasmine) and three grandchildren, Javon, Skylar and Peyton Twyman; Brother, Eric Northern (Samantha), Sisters, Brenda Williams Murray and Michele Northern McCoy (James) First cousins Patricia Cole, Margaret Wells and Helene Gatling, best friend Bobby Griffin and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins (especially the Richardson cousins in Halifax and Hollister North Carolina, Haliwa Saponi relatives, Class of 1969 Bookers, TNWR Family, Campostella/Cloverdale Family and an enormous number of friends!