Obituary of Lolita Rodriguez

November 4, 2023

Lolita Rodriguez was born on September 14, 1928, under the San Felipe hurricane in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. A twin brother, Felipe, died shortly after birth. She passed away on November 4th, 2023, in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

In between, she raised five children, nurtured her granddaughters, and adored her great grandchildren.

Friends called her Lolin or Lola. Anyone who walked through her door was instantly offered something to eat. When she was cooking, she always added an extra cup of rice, β€œin case someone comes by,” she would say. During the holidays, she cooked multiple main dishes β€” pernil (roast pork), carne asada (beef stew) ham, chicken, lasagna, rice and beans β€” to be sure everyone was fed.

Lolita had a wonderful sense of humor. She often joked that during visits to her doctors, when her name was called, people in the waiting room would turn to see who she was.

"They expect to see some young, pretty, hot thing. Instead, they get this little old lady," she would say, her eyes squinting in laughter.

She loved finding bargains on quality goods. During her frequent visits to Macy's, she knew exactly where to find the sales.

Of her children, she insisted they be honest, kind, and self-sufficient. She taught them by example: how to be frugal, but not cheap; how to maintain a sense of humor even during difficult times; and how to embrace new people, but not be gullible.

She spoiled her granddaughters, great grandsons, and great granddaughters.

She loved cake, especially homemade goodies from her family. She looked forward to Friday night Popeyes meals and movies at home. She watched Spanish novellas for the romance. She let her daughter drag her to museums and Broadway shows. Lolita read the newspaper every night until her eyes began to fail her.

She loved her plants and flowers. A plant gifted to her in the late 1970s is still alive and having babies. Once, she nipped a bit of a plant from Rockefeller Center and nurtured it so well that it lasted decades.

She embraced strangers, neighbors, and new additions to the family, even if they did not share the same language, with the same love and generosity she gave her children.

Her greatest joy was knowing that the family would continue.

Lolita is survived by: her children, Herman Rodriguez (and his wife Minerva Rivera), Ricardo Rodriguez, Yolanda Rodriguez, and Pedro Sola; her grandchildren Irene Rodriguez, Christina Gissentaner (and her husband Jonathan Gissentaner) and Sarah Rodriguez (and her beloved, Julio Moreno); her great grand-children Yasmin (Min) and Andre Rodriguez, Lianna and Parker Jonathan (P.J.) Gissentaner; her nephews Jose Miranda, Jimmy Geigel, Raymond Ortiz and Al Figueroa; her cousin Marcelita Figueroa; her godson William Vergez (and his wife Miriam Vergez); and great nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by: her oldest son Carlos (Piro) Rodriguez; her granddaughter Esmeralda Rodriguez; her sisters Rita Miranda, Sara Soto, Mariana Figueroa, Panchita Roman; her brother Jose Figueroa; and her beloved Pedro Juan Sola.

To know Lolita was to know generosity, humility, kindness, laughter, wisdom, and grace. Her family asks that you carry on that legacy.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Funeral Services


November 9, 2023

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 W 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

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Funeral Mass

November 10, 2023

10:00 AM

St. Paul the Apostle

405 W. 59th Street

New York, NY 10036

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November 10, 2023

11:45 am

St. Raymond's Cemetery

2600 Lafayette Avenue

Bronx, NY 10465

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