MIDLAND — William F. “Bill” Roden died on Saturday, Sept. 4, at the age of 88. He spent more than 50 years in the oil business until his retirement in 2007.
He was born on February 3, 1922, to Arthur and Allie Roden in Glen Rose. Roden was the fifth of their six children. He graduated from Glen Rose High School in 1940 and then went on to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in business administration and played on the golf team. He was the first golfer awarded a scholarship at the university, winning the Southwest Conference Individual Golf Championship in 1943.
Roden joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves during World War II, graduating from the Naval Officer’s Flight Program the day the war in the Pacific ended. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1945.
In the late 1940s he moved to West Texas and began his career in the oil business. In 1949 he became land manager for Cosden Petroleum in Midland. He left Cosden in 1951 to become an independent and formed Roden Oil Co. later that year. He was managing partner of Roden Oil until the company merged with Houston Natural Gas in 1969. That merger resulted in the formation of HNG Oil Company, the exploration division of Houston Natural Gas.
Roden served as president of HNG Oil Co., overseeing its exploration and production operations until he took early retirement in 1982. He then re-formed Roden Oil Co. and was active in the industry drilling deep wildcats, primarily in the Delaware and Anadarko Basins until his retirement in 2007.
Aside from the many years he spent in the oil business, he also was involved in many other activities. He served as an official of the United States Golf Association from 1958 to 1967 for the Western District of Texas. He was a director of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, a member of the All American Wildcatters Committee and a founding director of the Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville.
In 1985 Gov. Mark White appointed Roden to the University of Texas System Board of Regents on which he served until 1991 and was vice chairman his last three years. Later he was inducted into the University of Texas Longhorn Hall of Honor.
Bill Roden led an active and fulfilling life. He was a mentor and a role model to family and friends alike. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Tom “Pinkie” Roden, Jake Roden, and Ted Roden, and his sisters, Ann Deaderick and Frances Standifer.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marium K. Roden of Kerrville, Texas; sons Sean Roden and wife, Sonya Roden, of Bryan-College Station and Larry Roden of Austin; stepson Van Tettleton and wife, Margaret Ann Tettleton, of Midland; stepdaughter Tara Hoover and husband, John Hoover, of Dallas; and sister-in-law Jan Roden of Odessa. He also has a number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, whom he loved.
A memorial service is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Midland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to West Texas Boys Ranch, 10223 Boys Ranch Road, San Angelo, TX 76904-3665; or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com.