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Religion / Religión Volver a "Religion / Religión"

Our beloved friend, Sylvia Rodriguez

By Chocó Meza | 27 de enero de 2013

San Antonio.- Sylvia is a long time Bexar County Democratic Party activist who started her career working for State Senator Joe J. Bernal. Sylvia was an active Precinct Chair and played a leadership role in the election of many Democratic Party candidates and involved in most women candidate campaigns. She was a key leader of the Mexican American Democrats (MAD) and earned the honor of being elected "Democratic Woman of the Year."

Sylvia was the first Hispanic woman to get elected to the Democratic National Committee in the early 80's where she worked with the late Congressman Mickey Leland on establishing the first Hispanic Caucus of the DNC, where she served as Chair. Sylvia proudly gave the Pledge of Allegiance at the 1980 National Democratic Convention. 

Sylvia will be remembered by former Councilwoman Maria A. Berriozabal, Mayor Julián Castro, Congressman Joaquin Castro, ACCD Trustees Joe Alderete and Anna U. Bustamante, former Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl, , former State Representative Christine Hernandez, President Jimmy Carter, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and so many more candidates throughout Texas, including myself. Sylvia was one of those life-long democrats that fought daily to level the playing field for everyone.

For almost 20 years Sylvia and her husband Gene served as Volunteer Coordinators for the Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and Sylvia continued her volunteerism by serving eight years as the Coordinator of the annual San Fernando Health Fair which services thousands of persons annually. I am proud to have nominated Sylvia to get inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame for her volunteerism.

Most will remember her because of her commitment to the Democratic Party, women's issues, a health care advocate, proud member of Las Damas de San Fernando, Hispanic Women's Network of Texas, Hispanas Unidas, and board member of the SA Port Authority. 

Her family and closest friends will remember her for her devotion to her husband of 45 years, Gene Rodriguez, whom she affectionately called "sweetart", who also served as a DNC member and her lovely daughter Clarissa M. Rodriguez, an attorney and current Precinct Chair.  Sylvia was a "one of kind woman". 

We will miss her at the weekly Friday breakfasts at Mi Tierra, her annual homemade Tamalada dinner, beautiful Christmas decorations, meticulous and elegant table settings, exquisite culinary skills, and that smile that made you feel special and loved. And who can forget her devotion to the San Antonio Spurs.

Sylvia never wavered from her political beliefs or her dedication to her family. Sylvia will always be remembered, loved, and honored for being such a giving human being. May she rest in peace.

Sylvia Rodriguez PRESENTE!


News of Sylvia Rodriguez death came as a surprise to many who knew her. Among her closest friends is former Dist. 1 City Councilwoman, Maria Berriozabal. She asked that her condolences and remembrance be added to that of Chocó Meza’s Remembrance.



I received word early this morning of Sylvia Rodriguez’s death, a long time political and civic leader in San Antonio and a friend.

I met Sylvia around 1966 when I was a secretary at Hemisfair'68 and she was the secretary to then Senator Joe J. Bernal. She was among the first Latinas with whom I "networked" before that word was coined. She paved the road in public participation and politics for many of us. Sylvia took full advantage of her work with Senator Bernal to launch her own work as a leader in politics and in particular in the Democratic Party where at various times she was elected to its highest positions. 

A true Latina pioneer, her work through a variety of organizations including but not limited to the Democratic Women of Bexar County, Bexar County Women's Political Caucus, Hispanas Unidas, and the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (HWNT) set a path of activism for women. While Sylvia never choose to run for public office herself, many men and women were elected to such offices with her counsel and her support.

I include myself in that group.

Sylvia bravely struggled with cancer for about fifteen years and was an example to all of us on how to live life to the fullest. In those years she remained active in the community as she was able and was a leader along with her husband, Gene, at San Fernando Cathedral as Eucharistic Minister, volunteer in other areas of the parish and was a leader of the Annual San Fernando Health Fair where hundreds of people receive free of charge medical exams and health information. 

Many of you may never have met Sylvia but I want you to know of her life and how she lived it with integrity, a deep commitment to her community and a profound faith in her Creator. With her work she laid a foundation for many but most of all for Latinas in San Antonio and beyond. 

I offer my sympathy and that of Manny and the rest of my family to Gene and to her beloved daughter, Clarissa, an attorney here in San Antonio.

Sylvia Rodriguez, may she rest in peace, Maria


Arrangements will be held at Porter Loring Funeral Home, 1101 McCullough at IH-35. Visitation is on Jan. 30, 2013 5:00 pm, with a rosary to follow. A Mass of Resurrection will be held at San Fernando Cathedral,

Jan. 31, 2013, 10am. A Celebration of Life Reception will follow the service at the AT&T Center, 2301 W Commerce. Internment will be at Ft Sam Houston Cemetery at 10:45am. Feb. 5, 2013.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers that you send a contribution to: San Fernando Health & Safety Fair, 2301 W. Commerce San Antonio, Texas 78204 or The Star Center for Cancer Care, 4383 Medical Drive San Antonio, Texas 78229.

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