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1925 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
KITTY RODMAN Las Vegas' "First Lady" of Construction, Clarine "Kitty" Rodman, passed away Feb. 27, 2014. She was born July 5, 1925, in Richmond, Va. A high school teacher helped her get a job as a payroll supervisor on a government project, where Kitty learned construction administration. In 1952, Kitty moved to Las Vegas to join her husband, Leon "Dick" Rodman, who was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base. She studied at Dana McKay College of Commerce, which led to an association with Bill Koerwitz and Gus Rapone at a new company, Sierra Construction Corp. She soon became director and secretary-treasurer and part owner of the company, a position she held until retirement in 2003. Kitty's business partners credited her with being a major contributor toward their success. Kitty said she never experienced any obstacles being female in a male-dominated industry. "If you are qualified and carry your part of the load, you'll be given the chance to advance," she said. She was a lady in all situations and was always treated with respect. Sierra Construction Corp. became one of the most sought-after builders in Las Vegas. Their portfolio included projects at the Nevada Test Site and Nellis Air Force Base, as well as the best known properties in Las Vegas - Valley Bank Plaza, UNLV Flora Dungan Humanities Building, Golden Nugget, Binion's Horseshoe, Four Queens, Santa Fe and Mirage. They built various phases of the Dunes, Fremont Hotel, Mint, Sahara, Sands, Hacienda, Flamingo, Las Vegas Hilton, Gold Coast, Tropicana, Stardust, Frontier, Bally's and Las Vegas Convention Center. Kitty was proud of her 50 years in the construction business and enjoyed knowing that she, her partners and dedicated employee teams helped build a strong foundation that allowed Las Vegas to grow. "You know you have been around a long time when they start imploding structures it seems you just built yesterday, like the Hacienda, the Dunes, and the Sands," she said. "But then, it is nice to remember the association we had with those then very young owners who are creating the magnificent structures being built today." Kitty not only helped build the foundation of buildings, she also helped lay the groundwork of success for many worthy non-profit organizations. She helped charter an Epsilon Sigma Alpha chapter in Las Vegas and was a member of Zonta International and Executive Women International. She became a pivotal force in shaping Nevada Easter Seals, Opportunity Village and UNLV scholarship programs. She served as a UNLV Foundation trustee for 25 years and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the university in 1995. Opportunity Village stated, "Kitty has been hero of Opportunity Village for its entire existence. One of Nevada's most influential women, a builder of buildings and at Opportunity Village, she was a builder of lives - thousands of them. Every person with a disability that walked through Opportunity Village's doors and every family with a disabled child benefitted from her kind generosity and gentle guidance. Her legacy will live on in the lives of every OVIP and family." Kitty will be greatly missed by all her friends and associates. She was especially grateful to Patricia "Patty" Badame for her 53 years of devoted service and for the care she gave Kitty in her last days. Kitty requested that there be no memorial service. She will be privately interred at Palm Valley View Memorial Park. Donations in Kitty's memory may be sent to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, c/o Nancy Strouse, Executive Director, UNLV Foundation, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 451006, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1006 or to Opportunity Village, c/o Linda Smith, Associate Executive Director, 6300 W. Oakey Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146.
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