PORTAGE | Ricky Dodd left his job as superintendent of the city's wastewater treatment facility a little over two years ago because he wanted to travel the world.
He did. Going to work for Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Dodd worked in Montana, Thailand and Singapore before being assigned to help run a wastewater treatment facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Dodd, a Valparaiso resident, died unexpectedly May 23.
According to friend and former coworker Dave Littleton, Dodd died from an acute pulmonary edema.
"It (traveling abroad) was something he always wanted to do," Littleton said, adding Dodd was a compassionate person who worked on causes from running a marathon to benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society to organizing a Relay for Life team. Dodd's dedication to the efforts, said Littleton, drove him to start a Relay for Life event when he worked in Montana.
Dodd had also worked for the Valparaiso wastewater facility for a time, was the former environmental coordinator for Porter County and was part of the Porter County Hazardous Materials Response Team,
He served as the Portage's treatment facility superintendent for about 10 years. During that time, he helped the city win national recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the best operations and maintenance for 2004 and 2005 for Region 5.
Littleton said Dodd was also a former president of the Indiana Water Environment Association and helped start the Northwest Indiana Operators Association. He also taught at Ivy Tech Community College.
"He was a kindhearted guy and a great motivator," Littleton said.
Dodd is survived by his wife, Debbie, sons Benjamin and Nicholas and granddaughter Ashley. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Kuiper's Funeral Home in Highland. The funeral will be at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The city is collecting donations to help the family with expenses. Donations can be sent to Littleton in care of the treatment facility, 5500 Old Porter Road, Portage, IN 46368. For more information, contact Littleton at (219) 762-1301.