Eligio “Lee” Rodriguez was laid to rest on October 3, 2022 next to his loving wife Dolores “Dee” Rodriguez in a private ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery. Lee and Dee were married for nearly 50 years and raised 5 children before she preceded him death in 2018. Lee passed away peacefully on September 28, 2022 in his home of 45 years as his family gathered to celebrate his son Rodny’s birthday. He crossed on his own, privately, leaving his broken body behind while his home was filled with laughter and the aromas of some of his favorite Mexican foods.
After graduating from Centennial High School in 1949, Lee was drafted into the Army in 1951, and served in Japan during the Korean War as a stenographer. After an honorable discharge from the Army, Lee was reunited with an old family friend, fell in love, and married his beautiful bride, Dolores. He worked as a civil servant of the Federal Government for 27 years, with his last assignment as a computer programmer for the Air Force Academy. It was this assignment that brought the Rodriguez family from Pueblo to Colorado Springs where, after retiring from the Federal Government, Lee ran a daycare out of his home for 25 years.
Lee was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. Lee’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchild were his pride and joy. He lived vicariously through them. He spent countless hours coaching all of their athletic endeavors and supporting them in all of their activities. He also impacted the lives of countless other children through his coaching and his home daycare. When not on the sidelines, he enjoyed playing table tennis and bowling with his brother and best friend, John. Lee discovered table tennis in the early 1970s and continued to play well into his late 80s. At one time, Lee was ranked 11th nationally for players over 70 (he would joke that there were only 12 players still alive in that category).
Lee was preceded in death by his mother and father, Teadora (Rocha) and Jose Rodriguez; his brothers Bruno, Raymond, Ciprianoi, Ambrosio, John and sister Eufrasia. He is survived by his three daughters, Maria Milner (Clark), Tricia Vanderwarker (Dave), and Gina Syz (Jeremy); two sons, Jon (Jennifer) and Rodny (Adele) Rodriguez; nine grandchildren: Dallin, Hunter, Brooke and McKenzie Milner, Braydon and Brooks Vanderwarker, Xavier and Gabriel Rodriguez, and Wilder Syz; one great-grandchild Paulo; and one brother Tony.
Lee would say that his greatest accomplishment was that all of his children graduated from college and that he was able to witness his eldest grandson graduate from medical school. Lee was a man of few words but he was wise and had an amazing sense of humor. He was a self-proclaimed God-fearing man who knew the Bible backward and forward. His favorite verse was the Psalm 23. He now walks in the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and has been reunited with his beloved wife and family that preceded him in death. He will be greatly missed but his love and legacy will live on through his family.