Gloria Maria Rodriguez (nee Soto) entered into eternal rest on September 5, 2019 at home surrounded by her loving family. She was 89 years old.
Gloria was born in Lares, Puerto Rico on January 15, 1930 to Marcos Soto-Guzman and Juana “Lilly” Vasquez-Lopez. She would go on to graduate from the local high school and marry Juan “Manuel” Rodriguez. In the early 1950’s Gloria and her family moved to Lorain, Ohio to take advantage of the booming industrial industry. A successful businesswoman, Gloria owned two neighborhood markets on the west side of Lorain – Gloria’s Delicatessen and Reid Avenue Market, as well as many rental properties within the city. She also had a lucrative Avon business and worked for Gaylord’s department store. In 1974, she and most of her family would return to Puerto Rico to live. Gloria then moved to Hollywood, Florida in the 1980’s to reside with her son Maico. During this time, she worked for an airline food service and then as a caretaker for twin boys, a role she cherished. Later, she would make her home with her daughter Letty, her primary caretaker, living in Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL, and finally Port St. Lucie, FL. For many years she spent her summers in Lorain with her son Nequi. Gloria had a special fondness for Lorain and still considered the city to be her home.
Heaven gained a mighty angel on the morning of September 5, 2019. Gloria was a woman of faith and grace, and she dedicated her life to serving God and her loved ones. She enjoyed reading scripture and praying the Rosary. She always had a warm smile, a gentle hug, and a kind word to offer to those around her, and she loved to laugh. She had a special connection with children who were drawn to her loving, warm spirit. A magnificent cook, one could always count on a delicious meal when visiting Gloria. Her pastelillos were the best around! She generously passed on her recipes to the family, though we know it will be impossible to replicate perfection. A favorite pastime of hers was crocheting, and over the years she gifted family and friends with baby blankets, hats, sweaters, table runners, and doilies, which we will treasure forever. Gloria was a kind, loving, generous mom, grandma, mama, sister, titi, godmother, and friend who will be profoundly missed. We will take comfort in knowing that her love and spirit will live on in our hearts.
Gloria is survived by her sons Nequi Rodriguez of Lorain, Audie Rodriguez of Lorain, Maico Rodriguez of Hollywood, FL; daughter Letty Rodriguez and son-in-law Mario Ugalde of Port St. Lucie, FL; son-in-law Juan Gilberto “Gil” Vazquez of FL; grandchildren Tonya Rodriguez of Lorain, Robert Jacob of Lorain, Yil Carlos Vazquez of Port St. Lucie, FL, Lee Stephanie Mendoza (Oscar) of Maryland, Myco Rodriguez of Hollywood, FL, Jordan Rodriguez of Hollywood, FL, Brandi Rodriguez of Arizona, Brandon Rodriguez, Christian Fisher, Raymond Russo, and Obrey Steinbrunner; great-grandchildren Jilliana Vazquez, Adrian Mendoza, Adriel Mendoza, Tyler Terrell, Kaden Batters, Taylor Rodriguez, Kaylee Williams, Delanie Rodriguez, Devin Rodriguez, Julian Jacob, and Jaiden Jacob; brothers Nicolas Soto of Lorain, Humberto “Huber” Muñiz; sisters Carmen “Carmita” Muñiz of CA, Blanca “Goyi” Muñiz, and Rosa Cardé of FL, as well as many nieces, nephews, and godchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings Juan “Guti” Gutierrez, Miguel Muñiz, Maria Theresa “Rita” Soto, Francisco “Paco” Soto, Pablo Soto, and Margarita “Coqui” Gonzalez.
The family will receive friends at Reidy-Scanlan-Giovannazzo Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2150 Broadway, Lorain (440) 244-1961 on Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM and at Sacred Heart Chapel, 4301 Pearl Ave, Lorain on Friday, September 20, 2019 from 8:30 AM until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 AM, Fr. William Thaden, Pastor, officiating. Christian burial services will follow the Mass at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain. Online condolences may be sent using www.rsgfuneralhome.com.
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