Paul T. Sodt - Rochester

Paul T. Sodt died at peace at home in Rochester, Saturday, July 28, at the age of 85.

Paul was born Jan. 2, 1927 in Alpena, Mich., to Rev. William G. and Julia Faur Sodt. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wis. He enlisted in the Navy at age 17. He met his first wife, Delores Ruth Schaefer, at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. They married in 1948 and had five children. The family enjoyed many camping vacations together. Paul received his BA from the University of Iowa and MSHA from Northwestern University. Paul served as hospital administrator in Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa. He was a Paul Harris fellow with Rotary International and served as president of the Iowa Hospital Association. In 1971 the family moved to Minnesota, where Paul took a position with Ellerbe Becket as a health care planner. Paul was very gratified by his involvement in the planning of the Gonda Building in Rochester and at Mayo locations in Arizona and Florida, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and Bethesda Naval Hospital. After Delores died in 1994, Paul traveled extensively, including a 4-month volunteer experience at a hospital in Madras, India.

Paul met Patricia Horlocker and they were married in 2003. Paul embraced life with Pat in Rochester, including his volunteer work at Mayo Clinic, umpiring vintage (1860s) baseball and Kiwanis Daymakers. Paul enjoyed traveling, woodworking, reading and political discussions, and was an avid golfer. Paul collected nativity scenes, especially from countries he visited. He developed the character and costume for Abraham Lincoln, which he played at the Olmsted County History Center and in Rochester area schools. Paul had a strong Lutheran faith which sustained him throughout his life.

Paul is survived by his wife, Pat Horlocker; children, Jeff (Roberta), Kristine (Jim) Sawyer, Deborah, Steve (Julie Mirras) and Linda. He is also survived by step-children, Randy (Terre) Horlocker, Kay (Larry) Letson and Jon (Vicki) Horlocker; sister, Carol Dilthey; special niece, Gael Wojtycski; brother-in-law, Ron (Kathy) Schaefer; six grandchildren, Rachel, Adam, Megan, Janet, Kelsey and Niki; six step-grandchildren, Mark, Kate, Andrew, Adam, Sarah and Anna; five great-grandchildren; and several other nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Delores, and brother, Bill.

The family would like to thank Mayo Hospice staff for their compassionate care during Paul’s final weeks.

Paul will be remembered at a memorial service at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes in Rochester, on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m., with visitation starting at 1 p.m. He will be buried at Acacia Cemetery in Mendota Heights.

Memorials preferred to Lutheran World Relief or Mayo Hospice.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901. (507) 289-3600.