Paula Rodriguez, age 99, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on September 4, 2019.
Paula was the fourth child of eight, born to Alberto and Dolores Carrion on January 25, 1920 in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.
She grew up and studied in Puerto Rico. She quit her studies to help the family economically. With the United States/Puerto Rican revolution and chaos hitting the island politically, along with the loss of jobs, Paula decided to leave the island and go to live in New York City with her oldest sister, Fermina. She lived and worked in New York for three years.
When she decided she hadn’t seen her family in a while, she decided to take a trip back to Puerto Rico to see them. While visiting, her youngest brother was drafted into the Korean War and served famously with the 65th Infantry (all Puerto Rican soldiers) or what is better known today as “The Borinqueneers”. Her baby sister at the time, Gladys, was graduating from high school and decided to come back with her big sister to the United States.
In 1954, Paula and Gladys decided to go to the local theater “The Ruby”. Paula didn’t know that the usher that was working there that day was to become her husband. Of course, they flirted and he invited her that day, along with her sister, to visit the First Spanish Baptist Church of Philadelphia (where she has now been a member of for 65 years).
On February 12, 1955 in a major snowstorm, she and her husband married. Thirteen months later, she delivered her only child, Judith Rodriguez (now Rodriguez-Negron).
All her life, she worked as a seamstress. Once married, she started working at a sweater knitting mill, sewing the sleeves onto the sweaters. She retired from the factory at 62 in 1982. Her husband was still actively working at the Philadelphia Housing Authority until his death on July 30, 1984. She never married again!
In the last 10-20 years, she has not only lost both parents, but has lost a total of six siblings. Today, she is survived by her only child Judie Rodriguez-Negron, her granddaughter Diandra Y. Negron, her grandson Michael Dominic Negron, son-in-law Jaime Negron Jr., her youngest sister Gladys Carrion Delgado, and too many grand, great grand, and great-great grand nieces and nephews to name! Needless to say, this 99 years old lived a full and loving life.
A public viewing will be held on Friday, September 13, 2019 from 7 pm to 8 pm following a Service of Comfort at the First Spanish Baptist Church of Philadelphia, 2344 North Hancock Street, Philadelphia PA 19133.
A final viewing will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 9am to 10 am.
She will be laid to rest at Greenmount Cemetery.
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