Joseph “Joe” B. Rodriguez, 94, passed away on July 27, 2023, at the Tulare Nursing Rehabilitation Center.
Joe was born on March 21, 1929, in Exeter, Calif., to Jose Dolores Rodriguez and Refugio (Esparza) Rodriguez. Joe attended Exeter High School but left before graduating to venture out to work with his brother Miguel in construction. His ventures soon led him to Chicago and then Eureka, Calif. before joining the U.S. Military at the age of 18. Joe served in the US Army and is a veteran of the Korean War where he led platoons of men as staff sergeant. Joe received the Purple Heart for his bravery and sacrifice.
Joe is predeceased by his parents, Jose Dolores Rodriguez and Refugio (Esparza) Rodriguez, his brothers Miguel Rodriguez and Luis Rodriguez, his sisters Margaret Campbell and Frances Flores. He is survived by his daughter Anna Marie McClellan (Milton E.) and his son Joseph B. Rodriguez (Petra), grandchildren Melissa Marie Cowan, Angelina D. Rodriguez, Anthony J. Rodriguez, Krista V. McClellan, Tyler J.E. McClellan, Joseph B. Rodriguez III, and Shianne K. Rodriguez, including five great-grandchildren Hailey D. Garcia, Donald Seelhorst, Vann Rodriguez, Susana Y. Mendoza, and Rowan Timothy Tyler Cowan. He also leaves behind his siblings, Dolores Hawkins, Virginia Herrera, Lupe Sanchez, and Ben Rodriguez, and countless nieces and nephews.
Joseph was a man of many trades, but two of his most notable professions were his time working at General Motors on the assembly line and as a custodian at Salinas High School from which he retired.
Joe will be missed and remembered as a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and as a mentor to his fellow veterans. He enjoyed attending the Salinas Airshow and watching the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, spending time with his family and friends telling stories, cooking for his family, gardening and working away in his wood shop. Joe enjoyed making wooden hearts for loved ones and taking bouquets of dahlias and gladiolas from his garden to nurses at the VA hospitals and waitresses at his favorite restaurants to brighten up their day.
Reciting of the Holy Rosary will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023 at Smith Family Chapel in Exeter, Calif. A funeral Mass will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Exeter, Calif. Directly following the Mass will be burial at the Exeter District Cemetery along with Military Honors by the United States Army. Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel. Online Condolences may be sent to the family through smithfamilychapel.com.