RODRIGUEZ, Rafaela Rivera
Rafaela Rivera Rodriguez, 78, formerly of Hartford and Farmington, died peacefully March 1st, 2013 at The Village Green of Bristol after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's Plus Syndrome. Born in Barrio Farallón, Cayey, Puerto Rico on Dec. 26, 1934, she was the last of nine children born to the late Luis Rivera Llera and Leonarda Rodriguez Rosado. After the death of her father in 1937, Rafaela was raised by her mother, in the company of her eight siblings on their farm in Farallón. On April 2nd, 1951, she was married to Luis Rodriguez and gave birth to four daughters before moving to Hartford in 1961. In Hartford, Rafaela worked in many factories until moving to Farmington and gaining her certification as a Nurse's Aide. Throughout her 28 year career as a Home Health Aide for the VNA of Hartford, Rafaela cared for countless elderly men and women, including one very special patient, Clarisse Martin who died in 2001. Above all, family was Rafaela's greatest joy. She was the best cook, enjoyed her garden, planting zinnias, roses and tomatoes especially. Holidays spent with Rafaela were also very special occasions that she made the most wonderful times of the year. Rafaela spent many vacations in Puerto Rico, Cape Cod and Coastal Maine. Fried calamari and a glass of sangria or ginger ale on the shore were some of Rafaela's favorite times spent. Besides her husband of nearly 62 years, she leaves behind her four loving daughters, Judith Rodriguez McGann (James) of Manchester, Dallas Rodriguez of West Hartford, Migdalia Rodriguez Merriman of Burlington and Beth Rodriguez of Farmington; seven grandchildren, Jennifer (Rich), Nevada, Erin (Casey), Nicolas, Megan, Michael and Grant; four great-grandchildren, Michael, Mia, Moses and Andrew; three cherished sisters, Rita of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Alejandra of San Juan, Puerto Rico and Mercedes of Miami, FL; as well as over one hundred nieces, nephews, cousins and their families of Connecticut, Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Massachusetts, and Argentina. She was predeceased by her beloved siblings, Concepción, Ramiro, Isabel, Angela and Ramón; and a special son-in-law, Jeffrey Robert Merriman.
Friends may call at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave., Hartford on Thursday, Apr. 4, from 5-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held Friday (Apr. 5) at 10 a.m. in Emanuel Lutheran Church, 311 Capitol Ave., Hartford followed by burial in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington. Memorial contributions may be made to the Interval House, P.O. Box 340207, Hartford, CT 06134-0207 or to American Parkinson Disease Association, Connecticut Chapter, 27 Allendale Dr., North Haven, CT 06473. To send online condolences to the family, please visit www.ahernfuneralhome.com.