I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
~ 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)
Those words from 2 Timothy aptly describe Allison Rodgers—Alli to her close friends and family. Last June, at 61, she lost her 11-year battle with stage 4 kidney cancer, but she didn't go down without fighting the good fight!
In addition to being a cancer warrior, Alli was a passionate member of the local running community. Her “Run Amok” crew met several times a week at the Fleet Feet store in Blue Ash. They were a jovial gang, a loving group of friends who ran together, dined together, and even took a trip to hike at Glacier Park in Montana together. One of Alli's favorite stories was of a grizzly sighting and the group's comical reaction—all were safe, but the woods were never so loud as they were that day! A huge personal milestone for Alli was when she completed running a full marathon. She trained hard with her Run Amoks and was all smiles when she crossed the finish line of the Flying Pig. She finished the race!
And her most defining quality was her faithfulness. Alli was faithful in pursuing her education, receiving an associate degree from Cincinnati State college and taking night classes from Wilmington College (at Cincinnati's satellite campus), where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2005. She was faithful in her professional life, working hard as a manager at several local printing and logistics companies. She was faithful in her residential community, using her skills to manage the Timbers condo association in Blue Ash, making positive changes and bringing neighbors together. She was faithful as a mother, always wanting to set a strong example for her daughter Melinda.
Above all else, Alli was faithful in following Christ. She started attending Cincinnati Friends Meeting in the late 1990s and continued attending throughout her last years as she was physically able. When her cancer spread into her lungs and bones, Alli couldn't come to worship in person as frequently as she had, but she remained a part of the community via her emails and Facebook connections. The Meeting gave her great support, and she enjoyed the fellowship, the messages, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Quakers.
Alli's smiles and love of life were ever-present, all the way to her last days, especially during visits with her daughter and friends. Her faith gave her continual strength and joy, and she shared that freely. She came to the realization that “how we deal with struggles is how we can be used to further God’s kingdom.” She never knew a stranger and became more emboldened to pray with people in random places—in a grocery store, in a bank, at a craft store, and in the infusion room full of cancer patients. She spoke hope to others and gave those in need what they needed, be it a prayer or a bracelet, a room to sleep, or money to help pay bills. She spoke to people via Facebook—I can’t tell you how many groups was part of! She spoke to people via phone calls, sharing wisdom and prayers for others. She spoke to people via visiting her neighbors door-to-door, getting together to improve their community. She spoke with her heart and with her faith. Alli did so well. I think she wants us to do the same: to face what life brings us—yes, sometimes with fear—but to face sorrow with courage, hope, and the support of others...and trust that God is with us. “Be blessed” was one of her favorite closing words to others. And just being with Alli was that blessing.
Allison Rodgers passed away on June 24, 2020. In addition to her daughter Melinda, she leaves behind her loving brother Michael Woo in California and countless cousins. If you would like to honor her memory, please feel free to donate to a charity of your choice in her honor.