Jose Santos Rodriguez of Juneau passed away Dec. 19, 2010, after a very brief battle with cancer. He is known to his family as “Coqui” and “Cookie.” He was born June 28, 1947, in Queens, N.Y., son of Joseph Santos Rodriguez and Anna Rodriguez. Jose served in Vietnam and then made Juneau his home after his service in the U.S. Army.
During Jose’s early years in Juneau, he married Delece Lennon and they had 3 children. He worked on the Pipeline then for FOSS Alaska Lines for almost a decade. Jose truly enjoyed working as a tour guide wearing his true old-timers overalls, sporting his rough beard, and wearing his big hillbilly hat. His family wrote there were always looks of surprise when Jose spoke with his New York Puerto Rican accent.
More than 12 years ago, his family wrote Jose pursued his dream job at REACH. Jose quickly discovered there were no limits to the love and care he had for the human race. He loved his work so passionately it was not work for him but an extension of his family. Rodriguez worked until the day he was hospitalized and during his care and treatment.
He loved riding his motorcycle when he could and took great pride in riding. He loved visiting the swimming pool and had done so most Friday evenings for the last 30 years. He held the same for his love of softball and engaged and supported all who wanted to be a part of the team. He devoted his yearly vacations in Puerto Rico to be with his family. His family wrote he had a smile and dance for everyone and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, co-workers, the people he served, the community, by all who came in contact with him.
Rodriguez was preceded in death by his sister Bea Bea. He leaves behind a wife Yanakeen Rodriguez; son Sabastian Rodriguez; daughters Helena Cannon and Russhelleann See-Green; sons Jesse Rodriguez and Neiko C. See; grandchildren Alejandro, Sabin, Annabella, Nova, and Harper; brother Richard Rodriguez, cousins Edwin Soto and his family, Rosemary Noguet and Carmen Cortese; nephews and nieces Justice Cortese, Ebony Cortese, Sonya Marie Soto Funaro, Johnnie Soto Funaro and Jameek Cortese; and extended family Delece Lennon, Nancy Lennon, and the entire Lennon family. His best friends were Henry Tud Tud, Todd Harper and Richard Fagundes.
Memorial Services was held Saturday at Northern Lights Church, 400 W. 11th St. A 40-day Celebration will also be held at Northern Lights church at 7 p.m. Friday.