John Flores Rodriguez (Jay) passed peacefully from this life to his heavenly home, surrounded by family and love, on Friday, July 17, 2020. He was 83 years old.
John was born on January 4, 1937 in Ventura, California, the eldest son of John G. and Mary F. Rodriguez of Santa Paula. He lived in Santa Paula almost his entire life.
The seeds of faith and belief in Jesus Christ were planted in John’s heart at Templo Getsemani Latin American Assembly of God Church in Santa Paula, a church his father, John G., helped to build, and where the family were active members.
As a child, John enjoyed going to school, making friends, and participating in activities at the Santa Paula Police Boys’ Club. He attended Santa Paula schools, graduating from Santa Paula High School, where he excelled in gymnastics, in 1955. Shortly after graduating, John enlisted in the United States Army, where he proudly served his country as an Army Ranger.
Upon returning to civilian life in Santa Paula, John began working at El Brillante Market on Main Street, a place he would continue working at for more than fifty years. “Johnny” was a fixture at the market, and very well known to all who shopped there. He considered everyone he met to be a friend. He always greeted people with his friendly smile and cheerful personality. He was extremely hardworking, kindhearted, and very loyal.
John could frequently be seen walking along Main Street in Santa Paula, greeting and visiting with merchants, their employees, and all those he encountered. He loved his hometown.
Among John’s favorite past times were riding “shotgun” with his brother, Bob, at the wheel, and listening to oldies as they cruised the streets of Santa Paula. He also enjoyed spending time with family and friends, as well as watching sports on TV. He was a die-hard Dodger fan, but also enjoyed boxing matches, and rooting for the USC Trojans, Los Angeles Lakers, and his Santa Paula Cardinals.
While working at El Brillante, John would meet Maria, the woman who would become his wife. When John married Maria, he not only gained a wife, he also gained his “daughters of the heart” – Laura, Diana, Martha, Silvia, and Guadalupe. He loved his girls very much.
Greeting John when he arrived in heaven were his parents, John G. and Mary F. Rodriguez; wife, Maria; sister, Rachel Gore; nephew Robert Lee Rodriguez, Jr. He leaves behind his brother, Robert Rodriguez, and sister, Maiya Rodriguez, both of Santa Paula; daughters of the heart, Laura Figueroa of Oxnard, Diana Contreras of Santa Paula, Martha Reveles and Silvia Villareal, both of El Paso, Texas, Guadalupe Reveles of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; granddaughters of the heart, Nicole Gomez of Ventura, Angela Hernandez, Yvonne Hernandez, Silvia Villareal, Georgina Villareal, all of El Paso, Texas; grandsons of the heart, Angel Moncivais (Anetten), Jesus Villareal (Ysaura), George Villareal, all of El Paso, Texas, Ivan Moncivais (Nahtanee), of Oakland, Paul Gomez and Jacob Gomez, both of Oxnard, Jesse Contreras, Phillip Contreras, Jonathan Contreras, all of Santa Paula, Joey Villareal (Ariana), of Dallas, Texas, Ernesto Acosta (Liliana), Juan Abraham (Carla), Gibran Aguirre (Claudia), all of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; 10 great-grandsons, 12 great-granddaughters, 2 great-great granddaughters; numerous nieces, cousins, and friends.
The family wishes to publicly acknowledge all the staff at Greenfield Skilled Nursing Facility in Fillmore, for nursing John back to health and providing him with care, compassion, and kindness during the last year and a half of his life. Also, the doctors and nursing staff at Ventura County Medical Center - Santa Paula for the outstanding level of care John, and our family, received throughout his final days. We are eternally grateful to all.
Although John was small in stature, he more than made up for it with his gigantic heart and personality. He was not a wealthy man, but if a life can be measured in friendships made and love shared, he was the wealthiest man in town. Though John will be sorely missed, his legacy will live on through those who loved him and the lives he touched.
Final arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Perez Family Funeral Home of Santa Paula. Please visit www.santapaulamortuary.com, to view a video tribute to John’s life and share your stories and remembrances.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the veteran’s organization of your choice, as a way of honoring John’s life and service to our country.