Richard Lee Rodriguez
Richard Lee Rodriguez, 79, of Grant Town, WV passed away on Thursday, July 1, 2021 in Keyser, WV. He was born to the late Marion Rodriguez and Rose Kusich Rodriguez Chromchik and was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine (Cathy) Ann Cronin Rodriguez. He is also preceded in death by his two older brothers Raymond and Vincent Rodriguez.
Rich is a graduate of Fairview High School in 1960 and was active in planning class reunions and remained close with his classmates. Upon graduating from Fairview High School, Rich moved to Chicago where he worked as a barber owning his own barber shop in Marquette Park, Chicago. He and Cathy were married in September 1968. Cathy must have truly loved Rich because she agreed to leave Chicago and move to Tarney Run, West Virginia. They raised two children, Anne and Mike, and taught them the importance of civic engagement and service. After moving back to West Virginia, Rich worked at Blacksville #2 mine for 27 years, retiring in 2000. Rich was an active member of the UMWA Local 1702. He was a strong advocate for mine safety, labor unions and environmental protection, lobbying in both Charleston, WV and Washington, DC. Rich was an active member of the Marion County Democratic Men’s Club and was a passionate advocate for his candidates.
Rich is survived by his two children, daughter Anne Stickley and husband John and son Mike Rodriguez and wife Melissa and two grandchildren Mason and Mallory, his brother Marion (Choo-Choo) Rodriguez and wife Virginia, sister-in-law Arleen Rodriguez, and many nieces and nephews and cousins. Rich is also survived by fiancée Mary Jo Thomas, whose love and devotion to each other is proof that you can find true love again.
Rich was an avid fisherman and hunter, traveling to Canada and Alaska. He so looked forward to the first day of hunting season and telling tales with his three older brothers. He also enjoyed boating and water skiing and took his boat everywhere from Lake Michigan to Stonewall Jackson Lake. He was an avid sports fan, following the Mountaineers and Steelers. After retirement, Rich was a member of the “lunch bunch” meeting fellow retired miners every Wednesday at Colasessano’s in Bellview, who became like his second family.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made in Rich’s memory to UMWA Lorin E. Kerr Scholarship, 18354 Quantico Gateway Drive, Suite 200, Triangle VA 22172 or WVU Medicine Hospice, 100 Pin Oak Lane, Keyser, WV 26726 or Immaculate Conception Catholic, Building Fund, 406 Alta Vista Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554.
The family will receive friends at Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The funeral service will be held at Immaculate Conception, 329 Maryland Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554 on Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 11:00AM with Father Jojan Joseph officiating.
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UMWA Lorin E. Kerr Scholarship
Quantico Gateway Drive, Suite 200, Triangle WV 22172
WVU Hospice, Keyser
100 Pin Oak Lane, Keyser, WV 26726, WV
Immaculate Conception Catholic
Building Fund, 406 Alta Vista Avenue, Fairmont WV 26554