Former Douglas Mayor Albert F. Rodriguez, passed away peacefully Monday at his home in Scottsdale. He was 85.
Rodriguez served our country for 35 years and six months and was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam from 1964 to 1969 as a member of the 7th of the First Air Calvary where he was a colonel. Col. Rodriguez was wounded twice and brought down four times in his helicopter by enemy fire.
Col. Rodriguez also served as the Army Defense Attaché to El Salvador. According to family members during his duty in El Salvador he rescued 200 Salvadoran and 25 Americans held hostage by leftist groups. During his years of service he was awarded 68 medals and eight foreign medals from El Salvador, Argentina and Japan.
Family members say Col. Rodriguez will be missed by all who had the fortune to know him. His list of friends and colleagues grew through his service in veteran’s organizations, civic activities and affiliations. The list of his involvement spans from forming a Police Boys Club in Douglas, The American Red Cross, Saint Vincent de Paul, American Legion, Military Officers Association, Distinguished Flying Cross Society, managed Little League baseball, Legislative Liaison for League of United Latin American Citizens and Boys Scouts of America to name a few.
Col. Rodriguez is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Anita, his sons Albert (Frances), Daniel (Jeri), Michael (deceased), David, Andy (Yuko), and John (Allison), seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A visitation will be held this Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 6-8 p.m.; rosary will be held at 7 p.m. at Messinger Indian School Mortuary, 7601 E. Indian School Road in Scottsdale.
Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Monday, January 14, 2012 at 10 a.m., burial to follow at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, Arizona.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Hospice of the Valley and the American Cancer Society.