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Gainesville - Carmen Sofia (Aponte) Rodriguez, 84, of Gainesville, FL, died Tuesday, Jan. 8th, 2013, at Sakonnet Bay Retirement Center in Tiverton, RI. Carmen was born on December 7th, 1928, in Arroyo, Puerto Rico, the only child of the late Carlos and Carmen (Santana) Aponte. Her husband, Edward Rodriguez, preceded her in death.
Carmen moved to New York City from Puerto Rico in 1935 with her mother. She was a graduate of Cathedral High School in Manhattan and obtained her bachelor's degree from Villa Maria College in Erie, PA, in 1947. Carmen worked for the New York City Housing Authority her entire career, starting as a Housing Assistant at Edenwald houses and retiring as a Housing Manager in 1985. Among her proudest achievements was her involvement of the early years of Betances Houses as its first Manager. She also had fond memories of working at Central Office at 250 Broadway with her close friend, Dave Lanier. She met her husband, Eddie Rodriguez, a former Superintendent of Maintenance, while working at the Housing Authority and socializing at the Hispanic Society's clubhouse in lower Manhattan in the 1980s. She proudly represented the New York City Housing Authority Hispanic Society as the Queen of their float in the 1971 Puerto Rican Day parade.
After retirement, Carmen and Eddie moved to Gainesville, FL. Carmen was a longtime auxiliary volunteer at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, and a member of the Elk's Lodge and Lions Club of Gainesville, along with her husband, Eddie. She enjoyed her neighbors and friends, adored babies and her cat, Niña, and loved doing crossword puzzles.
Carmen is survived by her son, Carlos Sotomayor and his wife, Gretchen, her grandson, Gabriel, of Newport, RI, and her step children, Diane Rodriguez, of Jacksonville, FL, and Ronald Rodriguez of Hollywood, FL. In addition, she is survived by her aunt, Irma Marrero of Arroyo, PR.
A viewing will be at 10 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14th, at Forest Meadows Memorial Park Central, Chapel in the Meadows, 4100 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville, FL. In Iieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice Foundation of America or www.hospicefoundation.org.
Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 352-378-2528. Please sign the guestbook at www.forestmeadowsfh.com.
Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 11 to Jan. 14, 2013