Retired UNT worker killed while walking dogs in Denton neighborhood

A man who worked at three area universities during his career is being remembered by former colleagues for his passion and foresight.

Roddy Wolper, 73, was hit and killed Wednesday while walking his family's dogs in his Denton neighborhood.

Roddy was retired from his position as a communications staffer at UNT, but he had also worked at SMU and TCU.

Roddy’s former colleagues are mourning, and his family is proud of the impact he made.

Phyllis Wolper got a front row seat to the kind of positive impact her husband, Roddy, made on those he knew. He was killed Wednesday evening after he was hit by a car while walking his dogs.

"Every day at that time basically was their night walk,” she said. “Their last walk, he was only supposed to be gone for about 30 minutes."

Roddy was the news director in the communications department at UNT for eight years and held similar positions both at TCU and SMU over the years.

“He was very much advocating for women in the profession and to have them at those top levels,” Phyllis said.

Roddy loved his job, and his co-workers loved him.

UNT released a statement saying Roddy "committed to his work, did his job incredibly well and always cared deeply for his team. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

Roddy’s second passion was politics. While Phyllis served as county chair of the Denton County Democratic Party, her husband worked behind the scenes.

“He was the wind underneath my wings,” she said. “Also, he was the writer, photographer, did a lot of the creative work for the party."

Denton police say Roddy was walking his two Chihuahuas around 7:30 when he crossed Audra Lane in front of the Ann Windle School for Young Children and was hit by a car driving southbound. Police say the driver called 911 and will not face any charges.

“My heart goes out to her. I want her to know that our family grieves for her as well,” she said. “We hope that she is okay."

Roddy died later at a hospital. His dogs also died.

“He said if I get to heaven and my dogs aren't there, I'm not going in. Well last night when I was finally able to see him, I said you got into heaven and your dogs are with you,” Phyllis said. “And that was so comforting for me to know that."

Roddy received numerous awards at the universities where he worked.