Rueben Rodriguez went to be with the Lord on July 27, 2023. He was born the youngest of 10 children on August 23, 1942 to Ramon and Susie Rodriguez of Quemado, New Mexico, where he grew up working on his dads cattle ranch and at the local gas station while attending high school and playing basketball.
He attended Western New Mexico college before joining the United States Air Force in 1962, serving his country for four years active duty and two years in the AF Reserves. After leaving the service he worked for the Job Corps as a purchaser and he made a career of purchasing and contracting with the Forest Service for 17 years, and then with the Air Force Operational Test & Evaluation Center on Kirtland Air Force Base for 12 years. After 35 years of military and federal government service, he retired and continued to proudly serve his country as a Contractor supporting Air Force Research Laboratories for another 13 years. While working with the Forest Service, he served on the Forest Fire Fighting team and spent many weeks away from home ensuring the fire fighters has the equipment and supplies they needed to defend forests of the Southwest. He received many achievement and leadership awards for outstanding service throughout the years, even garnering a write up for his technical contracting efforts in the Albuquerque Journal. He excelled in and enjoyed his work life and his co-workers and made many lasting friendships.
In 1967 he met the love of his life, Helen, and fell in love with her freckles, while she fell in love with his smile and charm. They married a year later and shared a love that would endure life’s ups and downs for 55 years. In the early years they moved around New Mexico and Arizona, had their first child Mario, then Tyra, then Aaron, and they finally settled down in Albuquerque, New Mexico to raise their children and live a happy and fulfilling life.
Rueben loved his country and community, his family and friends, and was devoted to his faith. He was an active community member and concerned citizen and often wrote letters to senators, NM representatives, and others to share his views and enact change. He was a faithful blood doner and donated literally gallons of blood over the years. He loved music of all genres and could be found on every dance floor dancing with his wife, his daughter, and his sisters. He enjoyed supporting family activities, camping, exercise, fun family and friend gatherings, fixing things, and tinkering around his home in which he took great pride. He was devout to the Catholic faith and served the church as a lecture and choir member for most of his adult life. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for many years and participated in the Tootsie Roll drive to raise funds annually, and he was also a member of the American Legion Post 49. He was dedicated to his parents, his siblings, his wife and his children. He often displayed this love through his actions and was always lending a hand to help someone in need. He would write letters, make official phone calls, offer advice, show up with his truck to haul things, clean a yard, repair something, take someone to a doctor appointment; he never shied away from someone who needed help. He enjoyed a good joke, he was always smiling and laughing and he truly enjoyed life and all the people in it.
He is survived by his wife and best friend Helen; his sons Mario and Aaron; his daughter Tyra; his grandchildren Mitchell and Caroline; his brothers Romy and AC; his sisters Lola and Annie; and many other family members and friends who will miss his love and laughter dearly.
A rosary will be held on August 24, 2023 at 10:30 am with Mass to follow at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church located at 811 Guaymas Place NE Albuquerque, NM 87108.