Victor Manuel Rodriguez Santana died in Sierra Vista, Ariz. on August 25, 2013 after suffering a massive stroke in Petersburg, Alaska.
Victor was born on December 30, 1935 to Jaime Rodriguez and Eleonor Santana de Rodriguez in La Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico. His parents passed away when Victor was 10 years old. He and his younger sister Noemi were raised by their grandmother Josepha Martinez in La Playa de Ponce.
At the age of 18 Victor enlisted in the United States Army. He served for two years before leaving the army to finish college at the Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
After completing his education Victor re-enlisted in the army and was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. where be met the love of his life Maria Urquidez Madrid. They married on December 10, 1966, and brought five children into the world.
Victor remained in the U.S. Army until he retired in 1984 having achieved the rank of sergeant first class. Victor was a highly decorated soldier having been twice awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action against the enemy, and twice receiving the bronze star for acts of heroism while engaged in combat. He served four tours in Vietnam and two tours in Germany while on active duty.
Victor and Maria moved to Petersburg in 1994. He worked for Icicle Seafoods until he retired. He and Maria then opened the El Rincon restaurant inside Kito's Kave. They recently moved the restaurant to Nordic Drive.
Victor was always happy, and had a ready smile for anyone he met. He loved baseball and boxing, along with salsa and merengue music and dancing. He was also an active member of the Petersburg Moose Lodge.
Victor accomplished a great deal during his life. He always believed that his greatest accomplishment was raising five children and seeing them happy and raising families of their own.
Victor was preceded in death by his father Jaime Rodriguez, his mother Eleonor Santana de Rodriguez and his sister Noemi Sierra.
He is survived by: his wife, Maria; daughter Eunice (husband Dave Israelson) of Petersburg; sons Rudy (wife Heather) of Sierra Vista, Ariz., Victor (wife Eva) of Casa Grande, Ariz., Jaime (wife Monique) of San Antonio, Texas, Dante of Seattle, Wash.; seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
There will be a celebration of life at the Petersburg Moose Lodge on Sunday, September 22 from 4-6pm.