“Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me And soon I will be free”
-Christopher Cross “Sailing”
Richard Rodriguez passed away from prostate and bladder cancer in San Diego, California on July 25, 2017 at the age of 73.
Richard is survived by his daughters, Melanie and Michelle; son-in-law, Andrew; granddaughters, Julia and Alyssa; ex-wife, Pat; siblings, Victor, Jovita, Dave, Pauline, Mary, Rose, Juanita and Sandy; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Richard was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Micaela, brothers John, Daniel, Andy and Gerald, along with sisters Susie, Linda and Amelia.
Richard was born on August 16, 1943 in Denver, Colorado to Andrew and Micaela Rodriguez. Richard joined the Navy in August 1961. He retired in 1991 as a Lieutenant after serving 27 years. He was a proud Navy officer who dedicated his life to his country and his crew. His dedication was second to none. Even to this day, he is respected and admired by other servicemen because he lived up to the credo of Semper Fortis. You learn of his unfaltering commitment from the stories he shared from his tour of duty in Spain, Hawaii, Greece, Japan and Panama. If you knew Richard, you’d know he had an incredible gift of remembering dates and telling his stories in vivid details. Often times, he’d take you back decades, placing you onboard a U.S. destroyer with him and his shipmates as they fought tirelessly to protect the interest of our country.
After Richard retired, his dedication as a serviceman didn’t end there. He volunteered at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. He assisted military families who suffered hardships and needed financial assistance. His selflessness continued as he took on the role of Reserved Deputy Probation Officer. It was his job then to check on the welfare of children who were chronically absent from school and came from troubled homes. He was also a part of the Navy Mustang Association, National Sonar Association and Fleet Reserve Association. Although retired, he continued to be involved with the military. He was a true serviceman in every sense of the word. In his years of volunteering, he helped countless numbers of people.
Richard was a loving father and fantastic grandfather (Gpa) to his pride and joy Julia and Alyssa. Richard’s generosity and kindheartedness drew people to him. He made friends everywhere he went because he was not afraid to talk to strangers. Often times, he would become a teacher, mentor, friend, confidant and even family to those strangers. For those of us who were fortunate enough to have his time and love, Richard was our angel in life. He is now on a tour of duty of a different kind, one of a higher calling – as our angel in heaven.
In accordance with his wishes, Richard will be cremated. His ashes will then be transported by an active Navy carrier to be scattered at sea in the Pacific Ocean. Befitting of his sacrifice, he will be honored with a 21-gun salute.
Richard lived a happy fulfilling life worth celebrating. A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00pm on October 20, 2017 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, California. In lieu of flowers, family request donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.