Angel Rodriguez, otherwise known as “El Puerto” by friends, passed away on October 27, 2019 with his wife of 48 years by his side. Angel was born on October 11, 1933 in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico and was a Ventura County resident for over 50 years. He was a beloved husband, father, uncle, grandfather and friend.
Angel is survived by his wife María Luisa Rodriguez, daughters Eva Rizo (Juan Rizo), Veronica Torres (Andres Torres), Anita Rodriguez, six grandchildren Anthony Rizo, Adrian Rizo, Alexis Rizo, Christian Rizo, Andres Torres III and Angel Mia Torres. He also left behind his sister-in law Lourdes Sanchez, who was like a daughter to him and his nephews Andres Duran (Nadia Duran), Adan Duran and Michael Duran, who he treated like his own.
Angel was a retired farm worker who worked for Sun Harvest and Hiji Brothers. This is where he earned his nickname “El Puerto”, since he was the only Puerto Rican working in the agricultural fields. As a farm laborer for over 30 years, he built a sense of community outside of his native island of Puerto Rico and was soon a foundation of strength for his fellow coworkers. He became a Farm Labor Activist and was a Delegate for the United Farm Workers (UFW). He was a pioneer in the movement for environmental justice and labor rights for farm workers in and outside of Oxnard, CA. He worked side by side with Cesaer Chavez fighting for improved treatment, pay and work conditions for the marginalized community of farm workers. He did this by helping organize and participating in multiple boycotts, marches and strikes in Ventura County. He found a passion in trying to mitigate the harsh realities of the treatment of farm workers, and was a compassionate and fiery public servant to his community.
Angel loved many things and at the top of his list, it was always his family. He enjoyed attending all of his grandchildren' sporting events. He always made his best effort to attend or never forget to ask about a football, basketball or soccer game. In his eyes his grandchildren were always the MVP’s. Angel also loved going to the horse racetracks and derby club. “El Puerto” was a daily staple at the Derby Club in Ventura. He enjoyed his scratchers and the California Lottery, even teaching his grandchildren, at a young age, how to play. Angel was also an avid walker. It was not uncommon for him to leave early every morning and walk 2-3 miles collecting cans or helping himself to fruit or avocados from the neighbors trees along the way.
Angel battled cancer for 19 years. The same fight that Angel gave for his farmworker community was the same that he displayed with his cancer battle, hard, strong and brave. The family would like to thank all the doctors and staff who cared for and assisted our father and the family on his long journey. In particular, the family would like to thank Dr. Morgan Lyons, Dr. Lynn Kong and their staff.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Camino del Sol Funeral Home. The viewing will be on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and the Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m. Mass will be at Santa Clara Church in Oxnard on Wednesday November 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. with the burial service following at Santa Clara Cemetery.
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