Rodney Lee Bach died on June 16, 2020, at the age of 47, after a 5-year battle with Multiple Myeloma. Within weeks of being diagnosed, being the scientist and lifetime learner that he was, he dove right into researching the disease, treatments, and clinical studies, both past and present. He was able to receive much of his treatment at the Billings Clinic and was fortunate to travel back and forth to Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT where he received an autologous transplant, an allogenic transplant, and exceptional care from the most intelligent, compassionate, and dedicated specialists in Hematology. They always appreciated Rod’s involvement in the process and enjoyed the technical discussions that ensued.
On January 24, 1973, Rod was born in Baker, MT to Tom and Mary Ann Bach. He spent his first 13 years in Glendive, MT; his family then moved to Gillette, WY where at the age of 16, he met his future wife, Sarah. They met in the band room, discovered they had the same birthday, and the rest was history. Rod graduated from Campbell County High school in 1991 and completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in May 1995. Rod and Sarah were married July 6, 1996, in Gillette, WY. They moved to Billings, MT, started their life together and raised two amazing children, Madeline (18) and Adam (15). Rod was hired by Electrical Consultants, Inc. in June 1995 and had an extraordinary career, first as a Substation Design Engineer and Project Manager, and later as the Director of Testing for sister company EPC Services. He was a licensed Professional Engineer in several states and was honored by his company with a Distinguished Engineers award. He was active in the IEEE as well as community organizations, including the Breakfast Optimists. Rod had a great enthusiasm for his work and the people he worked with and made lifelong friends with many of his coworkers. He was especially known for the thoughtful cards and gifts he gave to the office ladies on Valentine’s Day and Administrative Professionals Day.
Rod was a talented woodworker and built many pieces of furniture for his family’s home. Much of his free time was spent remodeling their home inside and out, top to bottom. Rod was a devoted husband and an exceptional father; he was Sarah’s biggest fan and loved to buy gifts for her, he jumped at the chance to coach Adam’s First Lego League Team and he spent hours helping Madeline and Adam with their science fair projects which always won high awards. He appreciated many different genres of music but especially loved Smooth Jazz and Guitar Music (Chet Atkins to Jimi Hendrix). Rod touched many lives in his 47 years. His unique laugh, generous heart, and incredible sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
Madeline will remember her dad for his countless skills and helpful attitude. No matter what she broke or wanted, her dad could fix or build it for her. He was always interested and helped with Madeline’s school projects, from assembling bird houses in 5th grade to building a glider in middle/high school. She will miss her dad’s constant sarcasm and laugh and will be following in his footsteps in becoming an electrical engineer. She hopes to channel his nerdy tendencies and passion for his work into her future schooling and career. She will forever miss her dad and hopes there is plenty of Diet Coke and guitars waiting for him.
Adam will remember his dad for the interest he took in Adam’s hobbies and all the help and information he brought. His dad loved to discuss Adam’s jazz piano lessons, and then add the new tips and methods to his own music knowledge or encourage him to listen to various new artists or styles of music. Adam also roped his dad into building a 3D printer that may or may not have caught on fire a time or two on Rod’s watch. Rod always included Adam in home improvement projects, producing the family’s next handyman. Adam will always miss he and his Dad’s technical and musical discussions.
Rod is survived by his wife Sarah, children Madeline and Adam, parents Tom and Mary Ann Bach of Gillette, WY, brother Phillip (wife Brianna and children Freddie and Adlee) Bach of Casper, WY, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Freddie and Hazel Bach of Sidney, MT and Dr. James H. and Mary Hurning of Glendive, MT.
A celebration of Rod’s life will be held at the Elks Lodge in Billings, MT, July 12th, 4-8 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.