Ruben Lopez Rodriguez, 85, of Sunnyside went home to his heavenly Father on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at Hillcrest Manor in Sunnyside.
Ruben was born April 3, 1925 in Clint, Texas to Celestino and Mariana (Lopez) Rodriguez.
He was the eldest of four children. He was educated in Texas and eventually moved to Crowley, Colo.
He met and married his childhood sweetheart, Estela Carrasco in 1944. They continued to live in Colorado until 1950, when they moved with their baby son, Rafael, to Toppenish.
Ruben worked for three major hop farms as a hop crew supervisor over the next 10 years. Then, they moved from Toppenish to Grandview, where Ruben supervised hop crews for 10 more years.
In 1971, Ruben moved his family to Richland, where he was employed as a custodian for Richland High School for nearly 20 years. He always treasured the authentic leather "bomber jacket" the students presented to him upon his retirement. He was greatly loved and respected by students and staff alike.
In 1988, his beloved Estela was taken from him by a sudden heart attack. He continued to live in the Tri-Cities the remainder of his days. He married Zina (Dolly) Evans in Pasco. She passed away in 2007. He then married Connie Day in Richland, who took care of him to the very end.
Ruben is survived by his four sons, Rafael "Ralph" (Lynette) Rodriguez of Sunnyside, Miguel "Mike" (Pat) Rodriguez of West Richland, Ruben "Sandy" Rodriguez Jr. of Carlsbad, N.M. and Esteban "Steve" Rodriguez of Seattle; two brothers, Eliazar "Charlie" (Candy) Rodriguez of West Richland and Celestino "Tino" (Mary) Rodriguez of Kennewick; and one sister, Eduvjes "Vicky" of Toppenish; eight grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; many loving nieces, nephews and cousins; and a special caregiver, Connie.
A special "thank you" goes to any and all medical personnel who participated in providing Ruben's medical care and especially to Hillcrest Manor in Sunnyside for their tender and loving care during Ruben's last weeks of life. A "thank you" also goes to Lower Valley Hospice for their support.
According to his wishes, Ruben will be laid to rest with his beloved Estela at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland.
A family memorial in celebration of Ruben's life will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2010 in Tri-Cities.
Columbia Memorial Funeral Chapel and Gardens in Pasco is in charge of arrangements.