Pascuala S. "Peggy" Rodriguez
1930 - 2020
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Pascuala "Peggy" S. Rodriguez

It is with much sadness in our hearts that we announce the passing of Pascuala "Peggy" S. Rodriguez. She was born on October 23, 1930 in Fresno, California. Her parents were Leonor Ybarra and Francisco Salgado.

Our mom's journey on this earth ended on June 22, 2020. She is predeceased by her parents, husband Antonio G. Rodriguez, daughter Ynez Rodriguez, brother Ruben Salgado and his wife Jennie, sisters Tomasa Valencia and Rosa Flores, father-in-law and mother-in-law José and Inéz Rodriguez, and numerous uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends from over the years. She is survived by son Tony, Jr. and his wife Sheryl Smith Rodriguez, son Casey S. Rodriguez, and daughter Gloria Mari Rodriguez, as well as many extended family members and friends from all over the country.

During her lifetime, our mother was a migrant farmworker from a very early age, working a variety of crops from the San Joaquin Valley to the Watsonville-San José area, about 30 years in all. At the age of 46 she returned to school to complete her high school diploma—a long-held dream of hers—and even went on to study at the College of the Sequoias for a year. During her time at COS, she worked as a volunteer to help establish the Women's Re-entry Center for women like herself who sought to return to school to pursue their educational goals. She was a strong advocate for educating all children, starting with her own but especially low-income and farmworkers' children, who have to work extra hard to accomplish their academic goals. She remained an inspiration to many educators, especially her daughter who eventually became a professor of education at UC Davis.

Pascuala was an avid reader all her life, and she also developed an affinity for the written word. She was a poet and documented her own experiences and those of her family. In her lifetime she wrote thousands of cards and letters to people she knew all over the country, with special care for those who were serving far away in the military at various points in time. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's and Father's Day, Easter, graduations, birthdays, condolences, "just because" cards, and letters that would go on for pages. Receiving correspondence in the mail was a source of great joy for her.

Mom got to go to the Rose Parade twice, the Rose Bowl Game, and Dodger Stadium where she saw Fernando Valenzuela pitch. Among her favorite places were the beaches of Santa Cruz and the central coast area of Pismo Beach and Morro Bay. She also enjoyed visiting art museums in California, Texas, and New York. While in New York, she also got to see Gloria graduate from Columbia University and enjoyed the excitement of Times Square. She went up in the Empire State Building and visited the Twin Towers to get a bird's eye view of the City. Mom also loved music, so when you hear the song, "De Colores," please think of her - it was one of her favorites. This is just a glimpse of her life.

She was a terrific mother, a source of great strength and encouragement for us, and full of love and compassion for everyone who loved and respected her.

This was reflected in her work as a Community Aide for the Head Start Program in Visalia; over a decade of volunteering at Visalia Emergency Aid, during which she was featured in the Times-Delta in the late 1970s for cleaning, fixing, and dressing hundreds of donated dolls that were given away at Christmastime, along with food baskets, to families in the local community; and, serving as a CCD teacher at Holy Family Church.

To the many people who knew her, Pascuala Rodriguez was a remarkable person. And, to us, as she got older and knew that her time was nearing, we knew our 89-year-old mother looked back and remembered that little migrant girl - the one who asked: Will I someday have my own home? Will I travel? Will I get to go to school and have my own family? Will I get to meet lots of people?

And in looking back, we feel she would have said, "I had a good life."

Rest in peace, Mom. God bless you. We love you.

The family would like to thank everyone who cared for our mom over the years: Dr. Sam Katano, Dr. Ihor Kalicinsky, Dr. Gurtej Dhillon and the staff at Exeter Health Clinic, Dr. Michael Flaherty, Dr. George Bertolucci and the staff at the Eye Medical Center in Fresno, and the staff at Delta Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Visalia.

Lastly, we would like to thank everyone at Kaweah Delta Medical Center who attended to our mom, most of all, Dr. Laurie Hagopian-Dresser, who worked tirelessly and with great compassion for our mother. God bless you all and keep you safe.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate in memory of our mother to a local food bank in your area. Our mom would be happy to know that a hungry person somewhere is being fed in her name. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions a virtual viewing ceremony will be held on Monday, June 29 at 3-4pm PST with a private burial on Tuesday, June 30, arrangements through Miller Memorial Chapel in Visalia, California.




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Published in Tulare Advance-Register & Visalia Times-Delta from Jun. 25 to Jun. 27, 2020.
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