1933 – 2011
Noted local photographer, Roderick Arthur Dresser, Sr., passed away peacefully on Oct. 25, 2011 with his wife and family at his side after a valiant, five-year battle with cancer. Born in Watsonville in 1933 to Arthur and Rosabelle Dresser, Rod attended Carmel High School, and then went on to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was graduated in 1956 with a degree in pyrotechnical engineering. He served in the Navy on destroyers and nuclear submarines for many years, and then in the Navy Reserves, where he eventually became Commander of the Reserve unit in Monterey.
After resigning from the service, he ran the family construction business for many years until deciding to pursue his passion for photography as a full-time career. In 1981 he developed a friendship with Ansel Adams, and eventually became the noted photographer’s assistant in the studio and the darkroom. He continued to work for the Ansel Adams Trust as the business manager while pursuing his own work. He began teaching workshops and lecturing throughout the United States and in 2002 published a monogram, “Artists’ Choice.” Though his subject matter began as landscape images, his work became more abstract, as he was driven by an affinity for both simplicity and texture. His photographs are represented in major collections and museums around the world.
Rod leaves behind his wife and partner of 20 years, Margaret (Maggi) Weston; his two children, Kathleen (Kathy) Whitehead (Robert Whitehead), and Roderick (Rick) Dresser Jr. (Ruth Herrera Dresser); his step-son, Matthew (Matt) Weston (Davika Weston); and his five grandchildren, Griffin, Allison, Rosie, Ryan and Ryder. His sister Constance predeceased him.
A celebration of Rod’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions in the name of Roderick Arthur Dresser, Sr., be sent to the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association or the Wounded Warrior Project: woundedwarriorproject.org.
Submitted by Roderick Dresser’s family.