New York State In-depth

James Rodrigues Obituary (1928 – 2022) – Saratoga, CA

JAMES ABEL RODRIGUES, American Patriot, 94 years
At age 94, Jim passed away peacefully in San Jose, CA of old age on June 14th,2022. Jim was survived by his wife Ellen, three healthy children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Jim was born, June 5, 1928, in the sub-tropical surroundings of Nuuanu Valley, Honolulu, Hawaii, to Abel August and Lydia Vivas Rodrigues. Sun, surf, and play was his formative childhood experience, attending Lincoln Elementary and Punahou Schools. Active in theater, music, school publications, tennis and track, even joined and became ROTC Band Captain, while playing the trumpet. Jim attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for Electrical Engineering, Albany, New York, after graduating he joined the US Army. After many promotions he became Technical Sergeant, then entered West Point Military Academy. Jim entertained many extracurricular activities including WestPoint Marching Band and the WestPoint Football team. Jim was also Skipper of the Sailing Team which proudly defeated the Annapolis sailing team in Annapolis waters. The Army Sailing Team went on to become Middle Atlantic Champions, beating the MIT Team who had held that honor for three years prior. Competition was Jim’s forte and passion as Jim always loved a challenge in life and in business.
Post West Point graduation, Jim chose the Infantry Branch of the Service at Fort Benning, GA., and then served at Fort Ord, Monterey, CA training officers and teaching firearms to soldiers. There he met Ellen Andersen, who later became his wife of 68 years.
Jim was deployed to the Korean conflict and became a decorated officer assigned to Company A, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division. Later he was assigned as Aide de Camp to MG Halley G. Maddox, who was the Commanding General of the 25th Division and all foreign allied forces, and to the Korean Military Advisory Group.
Jim and Ellen were married in 1954 at St Michaels Church in Fredericia, Denmark on July 31, 1954. They lived in Texas during his final military years and then moved to California to peruse his civilian career.
Jim and Ellen settled in the San Jose, CA area. They became residents of Saratoga, CA, and had three children; Paul Andersen Rodrigues, Neil Andersen Rodrigues, and Karen Ann Rodrigues.
Jim joined FMC Corporation International and started traveling the world performing international sales and other company business. Later, Jim joined Guardian Packaging Corp. and established their International Division, Interpack Incorporated. Jim established overseas manufacturing plants in Spain and India plus licenses in Japan, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. During his 20 years, Jim visited 76 countries and organized business in 55 of them. Jim was Chairman of the International Red Cross, San Jose, CA. He assisted older friends during their difficult times for many years. Jim loved his family and always assisted them in many ways. Jim loved entertaining and many family and friend gatherings occurred every year at the Rodrigues’ residence.
Tired of travel, Jim started his own company in 1975, EJ Enterprises, which primarily brought tropical fruit juices from the Hawaiian Islands to the Mainland. Jim also consulted and saved struggling companies such as Memorex of San Jose and Hoogasian Flowers of San Francisco. Jim retired in 1992.
During his life Jim enjoyed and designed seven homes and built and/or contracted them himself. During Jim’s later years, he was active in West Point classmate Class of 1952 correspondence and activities and contributed greatly to the 50th Reunion, Class of 1952 Yearbook.
Jim believed that “We live for one another!” He practiced that belief during his long and colorful life.
Jim will be interred at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, in Seaside, CA with his wfe Ellen.
Services to be held at a future date.
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Published by Alameda Family Funeral & Cremation, Inc. – Saratoga on Aug. 1, 2022.

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