Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved Ones

Guillermo “Willie” Rodriguez

GRODRIGUEZOBITGuillermo “Willie” Rodriguez

February 18, 1942 – January 3, 2019


Guillermo “Willie” Rodriguez passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2019.  Willie was born on February 18, 1942, in the City of Brawley, California, to Juan and Manuela Rodriguez.  He was the youngest of 11 children, survived by siblings Carlos Rodriguez, Raymond Rodriguez, Mary Havens, Lola Corrales, and Esther Ortiz.  He was welcomed into heaven by siblings Gilbert Rodriguez, Mike Rodriguez, John Rodriguez, Henry Rodriguez, and Toni Escalera.  Willie was an uncle to several nieces and nephews who all loved him dearly.


He is survived by his wife Elsa Rodriguez, married in 1999. Willie is also survived by daughter Kathy Rodriguez and husband Robert Rodriguez of Eastvale, CA and step-daughter, Carol Sanchez of Riverside, CA.  He loved his five grandchildren: Daniel Ruiz, Melinda Ruiz, Cynthia Ruiz, Richard Aguilar and wife Priscilla Aguilar, and Steven Aguilar and wife Rebecca Aguilar.  They all called him Papawillie. He was also the proud great-papawillie to five great grandbabies, Cameron Aguilar, Audrina Aguilar, Jacob Wolf, Ayden Aguilar, and soon to be born, Lucy Aguilar.


Willie attended Hildago Elementary, Barbara Worth Intermediate, and graduated from Brawley Union High School as part of the Class of 1960.


Willie began his working career managing the Eureka Theater in Brawley and was known to be the “friendly cashier.”  Shortly after, he enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 18 in March of 1960 and was honorably discharged at the rank of SP4.  After the Army, his family moved to San Jose where he started a new career as a Tool and Die Maker.  In 1972, he moved to Santa Ana, had a career with a small company, and then started working for ITT Jabsco in Costa Mesa for the next 25 plus years where he retired in 1999.  During this time, Willie lived in Mission Viejo and finally retired in San Marcos.


As we know, Willie was a Raiders fan from the inception of the team in 1960 and looked forward to the team’s move to Las Vegas. His hobbies included Wednesday poker games, Thursday golf, monthly breakfasts/lunches with his community friends, and shooting a game of pool.  He enjoyed watching kung-fu and western movies.


For everyone who knew Willie, he was very soft spoken, but easily made a lot of friends that all adored him. It brings the family comfort to know that Willie was playing a round of golf and doing what he loved the most in his last moments on Earth. The family is appreciative of the support and love received over the last few weeks.  They thank you for joining them as they celebrate his life.


We know Papawillie is going to have the best seat in the house when the Raiders make their move to Las Vegas. We imagine he will be sitting next to Al Davis as they look down upon the Raiders trying to scheme a plan to win their 4th Super Bowl championship title. Win or lose, just as Willie would always say, “next year, we’re going to win.”


  • Rich Posted January 10, 2019 9:13 am

    Love you gillmore

  • Gidget ( Kathy) Posted January 10, 2019 10:51 am

    You will continue to live in my heart forever Dad I will forever cherish all the memories we’ve shared and live your legacy of cheering on the Raiders. Until we see each other again. I love you and will dearly miss you .

  • Chris R. Posted January 10, 2019 3:32 pm

    Thank you for all the love through the years you showed me and my family. A man I have great respect for..Willie you will be greatly missed amongst your Raidernation Family but will always live in our hearts.. I will continue to wear the gear you gifted me with .In remembrance of you.
    Love you Willie
    (Raidernation Por Vida)
    Rubio Family

  • Frank and Charlotte Marmolejo Posted January 10, 2019 5:48 pm

    Willie will always have a special place in our Hearts
    Raider fan that never faded
    No matter what
    ITT Jabsco was are family and all of our friends

  • Larry Escalera Posted January 12, 2019 12:53 am

    Willie is my Brother in Law, however I consider him more as a Brother. We talked to each other on the phone/texts almost daily and will greatly miss those calls. He was kind hearted and was a very Special Person. I will miss my visits to his home to see him and Elsa. We will also miss his visits to Brawley to see his brother, Raymond, his wife Lupe and his nieces and nephews. He loved to play golf when he could, every Thursday with his golf friends. He passed away on the golf course doing what he loved to do.
    He was a True Raider Fan and had lots of Raider memorabilia at his home, with Raider emblems on his car. He was and is quite a guy and will truly be missed by me and his Family and Friends.
    Willie, at some time in the future, I will be reunited with your sister, my wife, Toni and you. It was indeed a pleasure to meet and know you for the past 50 plus years. I will always cherish those memories.

    Love you very much
    The Larry Escalera Family

  • Gloria Escalante Avila Posted January 14, 2019 9:20 pm

    Uncle Willie I will always be thankful to you for welcoming my mom & us five girls in your home when our dad passed away. You were the best father figure, I even asked you to walk me down the aisle when I was planning my wedding. You have always been in my heart and you always will be.

  • Esther ortiz Posted January 15, 2019 10:35 pm

    Willie was my brother will miss here in San Jose.It a big loss to our family.Whenever he came he made salsa and chilaques.He was a big Raider fan but gave 49er rings to my kids.Willie had a good heart.He like being around family Listening to old family stories.My family and I will miss but forget sis Esther

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