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Pedro A. Jorge Rodriguez

April 27, 1936 - August 25, 2021

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date: August 29, 2021

Calling hours are Sunday 8/29/21  from 2-4pm at Colonial Funerals, Waterbury. James R. Sanders, funeral director. Condolences may be expressed at Colonialfunerals.com.

Pedro A. Jorge Rodriguez, 85 of Waterbury, passed away peacefully in his home, on August 25, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elba Jorge, and their daughters, Maria Del Carmen Jorge and Mary Anne Echevarria, both of Waterbury, Sol Villoch (Ramon) of Wolcott, Adela Jorge Ferguson (Michael) of Meriden, Wanda Jorge of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Betsy Heelan-Nieves (Ishar) of Killeen, Texas.   Three sisters, Celestina Jorge Rodríguez, Juana Jorge Rodríguez, and Marta Jorge Rodríguez (Narciso) and a brother, Ernesto Jorge Rodriguez Jr., all of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Pedro was predeceased by his mother, Adela Rodriguez Torres, his father Ernesto Jorge Rosa, his brothers Andres Jorge Rodriguez, Juan B. Jorge Rodriguez, Cirito Jorge Rodriguez, and his sisters Gripina Jorge Rodriguez and Irma Lydia Jorge Rodriguez, all of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and his great-granddaughter Yimay Rivera Colon of Waterbury, Connecticut.

Pedro was born in Santa Isabel and moved La Barriada Borinquen as a child.  He later moved to the El Cellejon Cangrejo neighborhood in the Cantera section of Ponce.  In his youth, he was an amateur wrestler, earning the nickname “La Pantera Negra” (The Black Panther) and “El Gato”.  He lived in Brooklyn, NY, for several years.  Throughout his life he held several positions as an armed security guard.  His longest post was at the well-known Hotel Melia in Ponce, P.R.  Pedro moved to Waterbury in 1984.

Pedro was a great husband, father, uncle, grandfather and brother.  He was a kind, loving man who worked hard to provide for his family.  He was a phenomenal cook, avid reader, and self-taught mechanic.  He was a jack of all trades, and there was nothing that he could not fix.

Pedro never met a stranger.  He was always up for good conversation and never hesitated to let you know what he thought.   He was an activist and community organizer, working tirelessly to promote equity through equal representation. He served as a liaison between political candidates and the community.  He could often be found knocking on doors and promoting voter registration.

Pedro was the personification of “we rise by lifting others”.  During his time as Supervisor of Special Assignments for the City of Waterbury, he met and uplifted countless individuals.  He was often able to recognize the potential in others.  Through his guidance and encouragement numerous people achieved goals they had never imagined were a possibility.  Among his accomplishments, Mr. Jorge Rodriguez was an Army Veteran, a Notary Public, and served as a Commissioner of Culture for the City of Waterbury.  The way that Pedro lived his life illustrated the beautiful balance between being humble and unapologetically proud of who you are and what you bring to the table.

To honor his memory, Pedro leaves 18 grandchildren: Johnathan, Zachary Alexander, Christopher, Destiny, and Stephanie Gonzalez, Yamir Colon, Sherry Guzman, Nicole and Alexus Echevarria, Edward, Justin and Kimberly Valentin, Jordan M. Ward, Amina and Uzziah Nelson Jr., Ramon Jr., Taina Maria, and Pedro Jorge Villoch.

And 25 Great-grandchildren: Armando, Yeimilyz, Carlos R. and William R. Rivera, Michandra, Zion Alexander, Zaiomy, Mia Mikaela, Joseth, Chrisdelys, Steven, Shawn and Enyell and Adrian Gonzalez, Ariana and Alina Sims, Juliana Guzman, Jensen, Zachelee and Jeyden Rentas, Noah and Justin Valentin Jr., and Jeremiah and Elijah Thompson. And a host of nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are Sunday 8/29/21  from 2-4pm at Colonial Funerals, Waterbury. James R. Sanders, funeral director. Condolences may be expressed at Colonialfunerals.com.