Donald J. Rodriguez Sr., born on April 18, 1929 in New York City, passed away peacefully on June 20th, 2022. Beloved husband of Felicia for over 63 years, and loving father of Christine ( Mark) Donald Jr. ( Kim) , Charles ( Maureen) and Felicia (Dan Walsh). Cherished grandfather to Zoe, Katelyn, Alex, Riley, Brendan and Danny. He was the son of the late Henry and Charlotte Rodriguez and predeceased by his sisters Genevieve Stafford and Katherine Barden. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Raised in Mount Vernon, NY, Don graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1951, served in the Army during the Korean War and earned his MBA on the GI Bill from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1955.
His professional career included positions at ABC, IBM, Western Electric, RCA and Xerox before becoming a founding member in 1974 of a telecommunications firm, Marketing and Systems Development Corporation (M&SD) where he worked until he retired in 1999.
Don and Felicia raised their family in Cinnaminson, NJ for 11 years, before moving to Mountainside NJ where they resided for the next 46 years. In 2021, they moved permanently into their summer home in Toms River, NJ.
Given that God calls us all back to him at some point, the best we can do while on this Earth is to leave a legacy of love, generosity and exemplary behavior.
One word to describe Don would be benevolent. He and Felicia had a love of shopping to assist charitable efforts but also never forgetting anyone's birthday, or special occasion, and always having Christmas goodies under the tree for all.
There was never a waiter or waitress that he didn't tip, especially at his favorite places like the Westfield Diner and Lorenzo's Restaurant. A famous saying of his was "You can be a hero for a buck".
Going as far back to running the Holly Shop at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Cinnaminson that directly benefited the elementary school to collecting clothes and household goods for St. Joseph's Social Center in Elizabeth, NJ, Don always wanted to help those in need.
He was known for his dry sense of humor and many one-line jokes would only be heard if you were lucky enough to be sitting near him to catch them.
He had a love of sports and his beloved Notre Dame and, as everyone knows, he didn't go anywhere without his ND Alumni gold hat.
His love of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang turned into a collectible hobby many years ago and has carried down Snoopy fans through generations of the Rodriguez family. He was also known for his side hobby of running office pools for events, like the Super Bowl or the NCAA tournament, where even those in last place had a chance to win a few dollars.
Family always came first for Don and he counted his family as his greatest achievement. .
He was loved by all who met him and was one-of-a-kind and will be missed immensely.
And in Don's memory, always remember to tip the busboys.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, June 24, 2022 4:00pm – 8:00pm at the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, 995 Fischer Blvd., Toms River. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:30am at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Mountainside, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Saint Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth, NJ. You can donate online at https://www.sjeliz.org/
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.
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