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RODRIGUEZ -- Ralph Rodriguez, 77, a resident of Rio Rancho since 1998, and formerly of Clayton, NM, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday, June 7, 2005. He was born August 5, 1927 the son of Fernando and Trinidad Contreras in Dawson, New Mexico. Ralph worked in the coal mines in Dawson, Van Houten, and Raton. He retired from American National Insurance Co. after 35 years of service. Ralph had a passion for music and was an accomplished self-taught trumpet player. He had played in many bands over the years. This was only one of his many, many accomplishments. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Fernando and Trinidad; sister, Estella Cruz; and granddaughter, Sarah Vital. He will be deeply missed by family and friends, and most especially by his devoted wife of 57 years, Sara; his loving children, Barbara Smith and husband Charles of Rio Rancho, Cynthia Vital of Clayton, NM, Philip Rodriguez of Raton, NM, Leonard Rodriguez and wife Stephanie of Raton, NM, Ralph Rodriguez, Jr. and wife Edna of Rio Rancho; grandchildren, Sheila and husband Akef, Mike and wife Carrie, Misael and wife Stephanie, Erica and husband Archie, Ralph III, Laura, Nora, Nicole, Desiree, Jeremiah, and Keanu; great-grandchildren, Ashley, Isaac, Lucy, Misael III, and Teyah; sisters, Inez Maddalen and husband Vincent, Alice Tafoya, Eleanor Harris, Mary Abrams and husband Bob all of Albuquerque. Visitation will be held today, Thursday, June 9, 2005 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the Rosary being recited by Deacon Bill Barry at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Vista Verde Mortuary, Sara Rd. at Meadowlark Ln, Rio Rancho. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 10, 2005 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo, 1818 Coal Pl., Albuquerque with Rev. Joseph Tahi Tran, SSS as the celebrant. The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. Clark, Dr. Elconin, The New Mexico Cancer Center staff, and Presbyterian Hospice staff. Pallbearers will be Charles Smith, Michael Smith, Akef Salman, Misael Vital, Ralph Rodriguez III, and Terry Nighbert. Private interment will take place at Vista Verde Memorial Park. Arrangements by Vista Verde Mortuary Rio Rancho, New Mexico 892-9920
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