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Art Rodriguez

1942 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Art Rodriguez Obituary
April 1, 1942 - August 19, 2016 Aristides "Art" Rodriguez (74) was born April 1, 1942 in Havana, Cuba. Shortly after Castro took power, Art left Cuba for the United States. He carried with him a gold coin sewn into the lining of his jacket and his uncle's phone number in Florida, nothing else. Within 24 hours of reaching America's shores, Art was employed at a Miami car dealership. His many jobs and travels brought him to California where he married, raised his children, and served as president of the Sylmar Kiwanis Club. During his tenure, Art coordinated blood drives and was himself a lifetime donor of 13 gallons to the Red Cross. In 1980 he began brokering liquor licenses and soon opened his own liquor licensing company, Art Rodriguez & Associates (ARA). Art took a unique approach to this specialized business and over the years developed a blueprint for easing clients through the often complex process of securing a liquor license and navigating state and local regulations. Art remarried in 1985 and together with his wife, Maria Impala, expanded ARA; in 1994 they moved their offices to Pasadena. Following the L.A. riots, Art served as the legislative chairman of Los Angeles Mayor Bradley's south central liquor task force group and was instrumental in helping create legislation that allowed shop owners to sell or transfer their licenses out of the county; this helped them recover some of the losses they suffered during the riots and reduced the number of alcohol outlets in the area - something the community very much wanted. ARA will continue to provide its specialized services under the leadership of Maria and her brother, Peter Impala, who worked side by side with Art for the past 26 years. In his professional life, Art was known for his extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of California liquor licensing laws and his generous willingness to freely provide advice and guidance to those who sought his expertise. "He built many solid relationships with a smile and a handshake" and "set the standard for how people should do business." Throughout his career Art most enjoyed the variety of people he met through his work. He had a true passion for helping people launch their businesses and took enormous pleasure in their success. Although he never returned to visit his beloved Cuba, the trade winds in Art's blood never stilled and he and Maria spent most of their vacation time on an island somewhere. Art was happiest swinging in a hammock rocked by an island breeze, cigar in hand, Mozart, Jimmy Buffet, or oldies rock playing in the background. He loved crossword puzzles, baseball, and everything about his life. He will be remembered and forever missed for his constant good mood, lighthearted humor, charm, generous heart, and for his devotion to his wife. He is survived by his wife Maria, son Ari Rodriguez (Mona), daughter Raquel Rodriguez (Greg Schoessler), sisters Raquel Rodriguez and Rosa Rodriguez, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many, many friends. He died peacefully at home on August 19th with his wife and daughter at his side.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2016
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