Too cool for this world, Rodney Hipwell, age 49, died April 10th after a two year knock-down drag-out brawl with cancer.
Born July 5, 1969 in Anaheim, California, Rod spent his early life in Southern California before relocating to North Carolina in 2008. Rod earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University. For the past decade, Rod worked at Campbell University, where he served in many roles, most recently as Senior Admissions Counselor for the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.
Rod had an uncanny ability to connect with people from different backgrounds. From bicycle shops to the Angels baseball stadium, from RedHot Chili Peppers concerts to worship services at Memorial Baptist Church, Buies Creek, Rod found common ground and created community. He saw the potential in everyone and encouraged so many to pursue their dreams. Rod’s impact was deep and lasting.
Rod was an unapologetic jokester, a giver of nicknames, that once bestowed could never be shaken, an accomplished, self-taught bass guitar player, an avid fan and collector of Angels baseball bobble heads, “best buddy” to everyone’s kids, and could ride a mountain bike like he was born with wheels. He never let cancer dim those passions and pursued them with gusto until his last days on earth.
Rodney is survived in death by his fiancée, Rebecca Unger, and family: parents, Ronald and Barbara Hipwell; siblings Ronald (Terri) Hipwell and Tammy Hipwell Johnson; nieces and nephews, Connor (Emily) Hipwell, Sydnie (Maartin) Oates, and Hunter Johnson. After moving to North Carolina, Rod become well-loved by many who considered him family.
A Celebration of Life for Rodney will be held at Memorial Baptist Church, 271 Leslie Campbell Avenue, Buies Creek, NC 27506 on Saturday May 11th from 3:00pm - 5:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
Rod Hipwell Memorial IPE Endowed Scholarship
P.O. Box 125 Buies Creek, NC 27506
(Make check out to Campbell University with additional info in memo line)
In memory of Rodney Hipwell
Duke Cancer Institute
In support of the Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers
Duke Cancer Institute Development Office
Attn: Michelle Cohen
710 W. Main Street, Suite 200
Durham NC 27701