The National Academy of Construction lost its first member with the death of Roy Tinsley Dodge on 8 November from lung cancer at age 85.
I feel this loss deeply on a personal basis since we have been very close friends for over 64 years. We met on the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, in July 1938 as brand new second lieutenants, each having just graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, he from Auburn and I from Illinois. Our paths have crossed many times, and twice were next-door neighbors.
After several troop assignments in the pre-war years, Roy served in World War II with the 83rd Infantry Division in Europe. He landed in Normandy, France, on 19 June 1944, commanding the 308th Combat Engineer Battalion and fought through five campaigns as part of General Patton’s 3rd Army.
Post-war assignments included faculty at the Army Engineer School; the Joint U.S. Mission in Turkey; Assistant District Engineer for the Southeastern United States; 8th U.S. Army in Korea; and Director of Army Schools in the Continental Army Command. During his last assignment as the North Central Division Engineer, he was responsible for military construction and civil works in 13 states embracing the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River. He was in charge of the project to turn off the American side of Niagara Falls to make repairs and remove rockslide debris.
Upon his Army retirement as a Brigadier General in 1967, he became Chief Engineer for Design and Construction of the Metro in Washington, D.C. He supervised the offices of engineering, architecture, program control, contract administration, equipment design, construction and real estate acquisition, and was contracting officer for all design and construction activities. Roy Dodge’s efforts were key in establishing and maintaining momentum within the Metro team. During his 11 years with the Metro, he applied his firm integrity, construction engineering experience, management style, comfortable presentations, and his ability to work with the Metro Board to move from the first line on a set of plans to placing the Metro in operation. Engineering News Record selected the Metro in 1976 as one of the notable accomplishments by the construction industry in the last 125 years.
In his third retirement, he continued to serve the community and enjoy life with his friends. In several resident capacities, he materially assisted the planning, construction, operations, and expansion of The Fairfax at Fort Belvoir, a prototype for commercially operated life-care communities. As a trustee, he actively supported the Saint James Episcopal Church in Mount Vernon, VA. He played golf several times a week, exchanging stories and shooting his age. He enjoyed bird and deer hunting, fishing, and crabbing with friends. During retirement, he became a skilled wood carver.
Roy leaves Gwynne, his wife of 61 years, three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. His interment was at Arlington National Cemetery on 17 December 2002.