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Rodney Lorne Suderman

September 29th, 1959 - September 2nd, 2023
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With great sadness, the family of Rodney Lorne Suderman (Rod) said farewell to him on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023.  He passed away peacefully at Melville Hospice in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. 

Following a terminal diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer in spring of 2023, Rod valiantly underwent surgery, radiation treatment, and other anti-cancer therapy to extend his time with family, friends, and his faith community.  Despite a challenging prognosis, he continued to meet each day with humour, zest for life and deep desire for meaningful conversation with others, welcoming visitors from near and far on a daily basis into his home, then the hospital, then his hospice room where he resided for just over a month.  Rod and his family were grateful throughout this cancer journey for the compassionate and professional care shown at Surrey Memorial Hospital, BC Cancer Surrey, and Melville Hospice, as well as continuous support of family, friends and faith community.

Born in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, Rod was predeceased by father Walter Suderman, father-in-law Abraham Regier, sister-in-law June (nee Regier) Krause, as well as a few other extended family members.  He is survived by wife Kathi (nee Regier), children Christopher, Stefanie, and Jesse, mother Viola (nee Hildebrand), siblings Garry (and Dee) and Wanda (and Herb) Neufeld, mother-in-law Marie (nee Ediger) Regier, and siblings-in-law Norm Regier, Fred Krause, Dave Regier, Benjamin Regier, Lois (nee Regier) and Ken Bergen, Vivian (nee Regier) and Rod Dyck, and a bounty of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Rod’s curiosity pulled him to leave small town Winkler to complete a Bachelor of Theology at Canadian Mennonite University (formerly CMBC), a B.A. in Religious Studies at University of Manitoba, and a Master of Divinity at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries and University of Winnipeg.  Meeting the love of his life in university, he and Kathi married in 1983, then together pursued cross-cultural interests, working and living in Taipei from 1985-88 and raising their children in Beijing 1998-2014, and embarking on numerous travels across Asia throughout that time. His commitment to justice and compassion for others brought him and Kathi to their work as Coordinators of a joint educational program and Mennonite Central Committee Representatives for NE Asia (1998-2015).Rod’s professional training and interest in faith and theology drew him to pastoral positions at Aberdeen Mennonite Church (1992-98), First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon (2015-21) and Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford (2022-23). Throughout his adult life Rod also found deep connection and was actively involved in other faith communities including Charleswood Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Congregation of the Good Shepherd, Beijing and Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship, Vancouver.

Rod’s interests included jogging, reading (current events, history, theology, environmental issues), travel, astronomy, photography, peace and reconciliation, and food, food, and more food!  His passion for life was evident in his ability to see and discover the goodness in others, as well as his curiosity as to how others lived, thought, and experienced the world.  His approach to humanity and infectious smile inspired Kathi, his children and all those he met.

A funeral service for Rod will take place at 4 pm PDT on Saturday, Sept 16 at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where Rod was lead pastor. 

Rod’s wish was that in lieu of flowers, donations be given to Mennonite Central Committee Canada.  Options to make a memorial gift in memory of Rodney Lorne Suderman can be found at Donate to Mennonite Central Committee Canada.



Andi Santoso
November 17th, 2023

November 17, 2023

Kathi Suderman and the family

Dear Kathi,

Warm greetings to you from Mennonite Mission Network as we join you in mourning the passing of your wonderful spouse Rod Suderman. I write on behalf of all our staff in praying that you may know God’s warm love during these days of loss.

I am deeply encouraged and moved by the testimony of both you and Rod’s commitment to serving in China as well in Taiwan and the churches in North America and beyond.

It is my gladness to share that we are continuing the work in China together with Canada Witness to share God’s love for the Chinese people.

On behalf of Mission Network and our predecessor agency Mennonite Board of Mission, I want to express our sincere gratitude to you, the family, for sharing the gift of your spouse in mission service. Thank you for your service to God, the church, and the world. May the Lord’s generous blessings of love and peace be with your entire family.


Andi Santoso
Regional Director for Asia/ME

Gwen Sandifer-Stech
October 3rd, 2023

Rod and his family were active members of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing for a very long time. Kathi was our dedicated pianist, Rod served in many roles in the church. He was deeply committed to everything he did. I have fond memories of the Suderman family inviting my family for dinner at their house, welcoming us to Beijing. And I'll never forget Rod reaching out to me and spending time with me after my husband died unexpectedly. Rod had a powerful impact on those around him. May his family and loved ones feel God's comfort and peace as they live with their grief, and may their happy memories of Rod bring them join in the midst of the pain.

Daryl Johnson
September 21st, 2023

My sincere condolences to the Suderman family: Kathi, Christopher, Jesse, and Stefanie. You played special part in my life during my time in China. I will always remember holidays and other occasions we spent together with your your family and other mission workers in mainland China. All of His best for you as you serve the Lord.

Sharon Schultz
September 15th, 2023

My sincere condolences, Kathi and family. I really appreciated Rod. We worked together on MC Sask Council and as colleagues we were part of a Pastor Peer group together for a number of years. Rod always had a ready smile, was a deep thinker and had a dry sense of humor! I really enjoyed those times together. May God keep you in His loving care.

Claire Ewert Fisher
September 15th, 2023

Kathi and ‘kids’, we are deeply saddened to hear of Rod’s passing. The world was a better place because he was in it. My favourite memory was spending time with him travelling to visit MCC programs in China. His natural way with people was so infectious.

Catherine McKinlay
September 15th, 2023

I am saddened to hear this news! Kathi - my heart goes out to you. So glad I had the opportunity to meet you both again in Auckland a few years ago. You and your children will miss Rod so much. Rest in Peace, Rod. Thank you for your kindness. Good courage and comfort to all who mourn his premature loss.

Gordon Peters
September 8th, 2023

So sorry to hear about Rod's passing. I worked with him through MC Sask, and he was a great council member. God Bless

Michael and Dawna Braun
September 7th, 2023

Sending you our deepest condolences to you Kathi, your family and extended family. Praying for comfort and strength. Mike, Dawna and Lucas

Al Willms
September 7th, 2023

My memories of Rod go back into the late 60’s and early 70’s. I used to visit my cousins on the neighbouring farm yard to the Sudermans. Rod and his brother Gary were always kind to me, and Rod had an instantly likeable personality. As years went by I would hear what the Suderman boys were up to. I admired Rod when he took up a career as pastor. Not an easy choice in this world today, I believe it takes a special person that cares a lot about others to do this task.
I was shocked when I found out a couple of months ago that Rod was seriously ill. He is much too young, and he has so much more he can contribute to the world, I thought! However God had different plans, and he needed Rod in heaven. My sincere condolences to Rod’s family and friends, I pray that they will find the support and comfort they need in this time of loss.

Holly Raatz
September 7th, 2023

Rod had a powerful impact on our lives in Beijing - as both a pastor and friend. His very presence invited a calm, listening space; one that always responded with sincere empathy and wisdom. Our family was spiritually, intellectually and socially enriched by Rod Suderman. Our deepest condolences to Kathi, children, family members, colleagues and friends.

Ryan Siemens
September 7th, 2023

Dear Kathi and children. I had the privilege of working with Rod in MC Sask. I appreciated his humour, insight, and love of the church. I grieve that he is no longer here. May the peace of Christ surround you today and in the days/weeks/months to come.

Ivan Bergen & Karen Braun
September 7th, 2023

Karen and I would like to extend condolences 💐 to you Kathy and your family.Also to your extended family.

Ivan & Karen

Carol & Steve Quiring
September 6th, 2023

Our sincere condolences to cousin Kathi & family, to the Suderman & Regier families. May God give you peace & comfort during this difficult time. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all.

Pauline Steinmann
September 6th, 2023

Kathi and children, my heart goes out to you as you grieve Rod's passing. I served with Rod on the MC Sask General Council and so much appreciated his wisdom and questions, his humor and his infectious smile. You and we have lost a great man. May you sense God's love surrounding you now and in the future.

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