Carnations 4

Marcelo Jose Rodriguez

April 24, 1903 ~ September 30, 2012 (age 109)


Marcelo Jose Rodriguez
Marcelo Jose Rodriguez, 109, was born in
Chiquilistlan, Jalisco, Mexico on April 24, 1903 to
Maria Suarez and Pablo Moreno Rodriguez and was
one of eight children. He was preceded in death by
his wife of 63 years, Antonia Figueroa Rodriguez
on June 16, 1992. He is survived by his sons Frank
G. Rodriguez and wife Emma, and his son Paul J.
Rodriguez of Santa Maria, CA. Marcelo has three
adult grandchildren, Paul Rodriguez and wife Becky,
of Santa Maria and Marc Rodriguez and wife Sherrie,
of Grover Beach and Francine Bailey and husband
Mark of Clovis, CA. He has six great grandchildren,
Kelsey, Katie and Taylor J. Rodriguez and Braeden
Marcelo, Jamison Francisco and Ryland Antonio
Bailey. He is also survived by three nephews that he
raised when they came to the United States, Alvino
Arias and Family, of Union City, Pedro Suarez and
Family of Hayward, CA. and Nicholas Hernandez and
Family of Oxnard, CA. Marcelo is also survived by 30
additional nephews and nieces, 45 great nephews
and nieces and 30 great-great nephews and nieces.
Marcelo lost his father at the young age of
7. His father was assassinated at his ranch about
1910. Marcelo picked corn and took care of horses to
support his family. He attended a week of primary
school before his mother asked him to leave school
to assist her to earn a living for his sisters and three
younger brothers. He had occasion to meet Pancho
Villa who came to the ranch where he was working.
Pancho Villa asked him to water his horses. Pancho
Villa paid him with a side of beef. On the return trip,
Marcelo again took care of his horses.
At age 24, he arrived in Williams, AZ., looking
for a job. He worked with the Civilian Conservation
Corp for three years after World War I. In 1927,
he went to work at the Saginaw Lumber Mill as a
lumberjack. He worked on the “chain gang” for the
Santa Fe Railroad. He was promoted to Baggage
Handler until 1968. He taught himself to read
enough to recognize the state abbreviations. He
retired after 30 years of service. After retirement, he
started his golfing hobby. Marcelo golfed daily at
Elephant Rock Country Club in Williams, AZ and won
11 trophies in city and state tournaments. He was
granted a honorary lifetime golf pass in 1995 due to
the fact that he had maintained the grounds and the
greens on a part-time basis. He was golfing at Sunset
Ridge Golf in Santa Maria until he fractured his
knee in 2006. A month before his accident, he shot
a “birdie” on the first hole to an audience of about
12 employees who came out and watched him and
gave him a standing ovation. He turned to his son
Frank and said, “why are they making a fuss, haven’t
they seen a 106 year old man golf before?” Marcelo’s
community service in Williams was to cut down the
annual Christmas tree for the Governor’s Mansion.
Ben Miranda, Gil Corona and Marcelo would go out
to the surrounding Coconino National Forest and cut
down the official Christmas tree for the Governor
to use. He was given a proclamation for 25 years of
devoted service to his community and to the state
Governor’s Mansion in Arizona. Marcelo was awarded
a special proclamation in Santa Maria on April 24,
2012 on his 109th birthday. This day was proclaimed
Marcelo J. Rodriguez Day for the city of Santa Maria
by Mayor Lavonigno.
He enjoyed going to mass everyday whenever
possible in his home town and also all the time
he was at the Marian Residence. He had a great
devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and spent much
time in adoration. His favorite reading pastime was
the Bible in both Spanish and English and he would
read the whole Bible twice a year. Marcelo was a
12 year parishioner of St. Louis de Montfort Parish
and the oldest member of his congregation. Marian
Extended Care has been his home for the past three
years. Marcelo decided to join his sons in Santa Maria
in 1999 and had been a Santa Maria resident until
his passing. The activities’ directors at both Marian
Residence and at the Extended Care stated that
“Marcelo was a joy to be around. He was very special
to them and to all the nurses. He flirted continuously
and called all the nursing staff, his special love or
“mi amor”. He was “Resident of the Month” in 2007
at Marian Residence. He felt very privileged that the
staff at Marian Residence and Marian Extended Care
gave him so much attention and love during the
years that he called these places home. He loved his
fellow residents and had many stories to share with
them and always brightened their day by wheeling
around so fast that he earned the nickname,
“Wheelchair Harley”.
Marcelo’s dedication to God, to his family
and to his adopted country were his greatest
achievements. Like all great grandfathers, he
delighted in his great grandchildren and young
people in general. He loved talking to teenagers in
particular from Delta High School who went to the
center often to listen to his stories and to get advice.
Students were always interested in his tales when he
was in the Mexican American War at the ripe age of
17. Marcelo kept up with the times and was amazed
that he could “skype” and see his great grandchildren
on an IPAD. He thought that whoever invented the
IPAD was a genius. His sons and their families will
miss his wisdom, his kindness and his great sense of
humor that they were blessed to have for 109 years.
In lieu of flowers, please make all donations to the
American Cancer Society.
A memorial mass will held on Monday, October 8,
2012 at 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in
William s, AZ. Burial will be at Williams Cemetery
and a luncheon at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Hall
will follow.
Local arrangements are by Lozano’s Flagstaff

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Memorial Service
October 8, 2012

10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
900 W. Grant Ave.
Williams, AZ 86046

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