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Richard John Rodriguez

May 23, 1937 ~ June 6, 2018 (age 81)

Richard John Rodriguez, 81, of Wildomar, California went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday June 6th, 2018. He was born May 23rd 1937 in Colton, California, the oldest son of Socorro Rios Rodriguez and John Rodriguez. Richard lived in Wildomar all of his life. He was an older brother to Rachel Rodriguez McGhee and Rey Rodriguez. He loved and was loved dearly by his mother, father, sister, and brother. He attended Wildomar grammar school and graduated from Elsinore Union High School in 1955. Growing up, he helped his family on the farm, growing and selling watermelons at their watermelon stand. In high school, Richard played one year of basketball, four years of football, and was an award-winning member and officer of FFA.  After high school, Richard enlisted in the US Army National Guard and enrolled in Technical School, taking mechanic classes. In his 20’s, Richard enjoyed splurging on cars and riding Triumps motorcycles. He bought a convertible corvette and joined the motorcycle club, the Psychos. At the age of 26, Richard became a father for the first time to Melinda Rodriguez LeGro and soon sold his corvette to help support his family. Seven years later he became a father for the second time, to Renee Rodriguez. By this time Richard was in his 30’s and he eventually gave up the motorcycle club lifestyle and was working at Interpace clay design, and then Harvil Machine, as a welder. Eight years later he became a father to his son Ryan Rodriguez and began his trucking career. Four years later his youngest daughter, Rachelle Rodriguez was born. By this time, Richard was in his forties and his hard work and sacrifice was paying off. He was the owner and successful operator of Richard Rodriguez Trucking. He was a great provider for his children and would be described as the rock of his family. He was a man of God and attended the Catholic Church. Richard had a yard full of what most people would call junk (trucks, parts, old cars) but to Richard, they were his diamonds. Richard always said, “There is no place like home.” He even preferred working on projects in the yard, rather than vacationing. Richard’s oldest daughter married Bill LeGro and at the age of 56, Richard became a grandfather to Gage LeGro, and 2 ½ years later to Emily LeGro. He then purchased his first 1955 Chevy Bel-Air and soon after, he purchased a second 1955 Chevy Bel-Air and two Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Richard’s son married Maudy Roozen Rodriguez and at the age of 68, his granddaughter Serena Rodriguez was born and just 1 year later his grandson Jon-Ryan Rodriguez. After the passing of his father, sister, brother and mother, Richard honorably stepped into the role of patriarch of not only his children, but also the children of his sister and brother. He was a loving uncle and great-uncle. In his 60’s and 70’s, Richard was still working hard and with his kids grown, he started enjoying more time with his friends. He enjoyed hanging out at the Elks Lodge, the VFW, riding his new Harley’s, cruising in his 55 Chevy’s, he took up square dancing and even traveled a bit. In his early 70’s Richard starting experiencing some pain in his thumb and hand. By his mid 70’s his girlfriend Rae and his family started noticing some changes in his walking, some weight loss, and he didn’t have that same bright smile. After years of going to the doctor, he was finally seen by a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He was about 76-years-old, however, he knew his symptoms had started around the age of 71. The next few years he managed his Parkinson’s disease with medication and staying active (he was still working!). At the age of 79, he became a great-grandfather to Hunter Brielle. Richard was a strong man but his Parkinson’s disease won the battle in his throat. He struggled with keeping his swallowing muscles strong and working properly. The week before he died, he had aspirated on food, which lead to a pneumonia in his lungs. While in the hospital, Richard experienced complications, which ultimately lead to his death. Richard left this world a strong, independent man. While he was a man of few words, his quiet charisma drew people to him. And you couldn’t help but like the charming, independent, and undeniably good, hard-working man that Richard was. And not to mention- his full head of curly hair, tan skin and great smile, was easy on the eyes. He loved his family deeply and was the model of a great dad and grandfather. The wisdom and love he shared with his family and friends will live on forever.

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