Al Rodriguez, 88, Logansport, peacefully passed away surrounded by his family Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, at Woodbridge Health Campus. He was born April 21, 1929, to Alfredo and Adolfina Rodriguez in Progresso, Yucatan, Mexico.
In his formative years, he began studying for the ministry, but found it was not his calling. He eventually ended up in a music conservatory, which suited him because an uncle had taught him to play the guitar.
While living in Mexico City and working at his parents' dry cleaning service, he met Martha Nemec. He delivered the dry cleaning to the Mexican Embassy, where she worked as a domestic and received the dry cleaning. Al serenaded Martha for three days with his guitar before she agreed to go on a chaperoned date with him. They married on March 19, 1951, in Mexico City.
While working as a bilingual clerk in a hotel in Mexico City, he met the Crowell family as they vacationed. Following their dream to immigrate to the United States for its opportunities, Al and Martha came to Idaville in 1954. Al agreed to work for the Crowell Family Farm, which legally sponsored the family's entrance to the U.S. A near-death farming accident prevented him from physical work. So, he became a night clerk at the Captain Logan Hotel and moved his family to Logansport.
Eventually, he became the manager of the State Theatre and the Skyline Drive-In. Additionally Al and Martha opened the State Pizza Parlor. It was at the Pizza Parlor where Al lost a portion of his index finger.
His responsibilities grew and he became a district manager for the Cinecom Corp. When the corporation folded, Al used his language skills to work as a liaison with area migrant workers and the Indiana State Employment Office. He eventually became a claims clerk in the employment office and remained so until his retirement.
While working, he maintained his passion for guitar by playing occasional gigs and teaching. He overcame the challenge of losing a portion of his index finger by retraining his guitar fingering. After his retirement, his passion took up most of his time. He loved teaching the guitar and working with the public.
On Saturday evenings, Al enjoyed sitting with Martha and watching "The Lawrence Welk Show." He was an avid Notre Dame football fan and loved going to an occasional game.
He is survived by his children, Lucia (Dave) Levermore, Alfred (Vickie) Rodriguez, Francis "Chico" (Susan) Rodriguez and Elizabeth (Michael Kowalski) Rodriguez; grandchildren, Lindsey (Robert) Penn, Brandon (Alex) Rodriguez, Michael (June) Rodriguez and Alfred Rodriguez; and great-grandchildren, Ryder, Jack, Hudson, Noah and Grady Rodriguez, Brennan and Kallie Penn, Erik, A.J. and Kody Rodriguez.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Rosamarie Prater, and is survived by his two brothers, Jose and Francisco Rodriguez.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in All Saints Catholic Church, with the Rev. Father Dominic Petan officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in Fisher Funeral Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Logansport High School Music Department. You may share condolences in Al's guestbook and view his tribute video at www.fisherfuneralchapel.com.
Published on October 11, 2017