Natividad M. Rodriguez
December 26, 1920 - April 14, 2017 Natividad "Nana" Rodriguez, who was born in 1920 in Uhland, TX, passed away quietly on Good Friday. He was kind and steady, and the definition of nobility and grace. He has been reunited with his beloved wife, Mary "Memo" Rodriguez, whom he has missed every minute since she passed 14 years ago. He was hard working and dedicated to caring for those around him -- but he did it in a way that was quiet and steady and humble. He never asked for gratitude or kudos, because he didn't believe that being a decent person was something that was hard or extraordinary. But he was extraordinary, and as he left us, he was surrounded by generations of the family he raised. Born to a family of sharecroppers, he started working in cotton fields at age 7. By the time he was 19, he managed a sixth-grade education until he proudly earned his GED after completing his service to our country in World War II. For 30 years he worked as a brake operator for Friedrich's Air Conditioning, where he was an International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers (IUE) member. After a six-month retirement, he decided to go back to work, and spent five more years working at Lancer Corporation. Baseball was a lifelong passion he shared with his sons. He spent hours coaching and driving around their little league teams, and as an adult was a teammate of Mike and Charlie's, playing competitive softball until he was 60. He loved the Spurs, because he loved their class and sportsmanship. Memo and Nana were the heart of our family, and drew us together through annual camping excursions and epic New Year's Eve celebrations. On trips to places like Garner State Park or Inks Lake, Nana was always prepared with a trusty pocketknife and a good story. We'd play cards and talk, laughing and enjoying the time together - but also learning how to create our own solutions for obstacles. The little house at the corner of Gladstone and Collingsworth was the center of the family New Year's celebrations. Memo and Nana hosted decades of these gatherings, which began with good food and music -- everyone awaiting dark so we could unleash hundreds of fireworks. Our New Year was official when Nana pulled out the broom and burned off the remaining fireworks in a barrel grill. Born at Christmas, it was poetic that he passed on Good Friday. Besides his wife, he also was preceded in death by: his parents Agustin and Herminia Rodriguez; his brothers Agustin, Emilio, and Modesto Rodriguez; and sisters Paula Rodriguez and Felipa Martinez. He is survived by siblings Eugenio, Jesus and Marcela Rodriguez; his children and their families, Mike and May Garza, Hope Rodriguez, Rose Marie Farias, Charles and Rachel Garza, Nat Roger Rodriguez and Ori Rodriguez; 15 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Visitation will begin on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 5 p.m. with a rosary to begin at 7 p.m. at Mission Park Funeral Chapels South. Funeral mass is pending; for more information contact Mission Park South. For personal acknowledgement, you may sign the online guestbook at www.missionparks.com in the obituary section.
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