Paula Rodriguez

Paula Rodriguez

Jan. 15, 1938 – July 19, 2022

Paula Rodriguez passed away on July 19, 2022, in Cody. She was surrounded by both of her children as well as all of the grandchildren. 

Paula was born in Lovell on Jan. 15, 1938, to Frank and Senona Padilla. She was one of 15 children who were raised during a time that Hispanics mostly lived in what was called “The Mexican Colony.” At a young age she worked in beet fields alongside her family until she met the love of her life, Jesse Rodriguez. 

The couple eloped on Labor Day of 1956 in Red Lodge. For years they told the story of how her parents called the police to try and stop the couple, but in true Paula fashion she lived her life on her own terms. They spent 64 years together. 

Most of her young married life was chosen to be spent as a stay-at-home mother, but later she would work at Dover Cleaners and the cannery in Cowley, clean houses and doctor’s offices and, occasionally, she would help family on weekends picking potatoes. She worked for the Lovell Migrant School in the summers and, lastly, spent 20-plus years working at North Big Horn Hospital until she retired. Paula was the heart and soul of her family. She had a hand in raising all of her grandchildren, especially her oldest granddaughter, Amanda.

Surviving family are her beloved children, Barbara and Donald; daughter-in-law Aurora B. Rodriguez; grandchildren Amanda, Roxann, Donna and Jr. Rodriguez; great-grandchildren Austin, Ethan, Tia, Rae and Ian; siblings Jenny Lee and Paul Padilla; as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews. 

Preceding her in death were her parents; siblings Raul, Joseph, Maria, Martina, Pete, John, Eugene, Gene, Lecha, Coke, Patricia and Felix; and her beloved husband, Jesse.

Paula loved cooking for family at home and for family gatherings. She was well known for her famous homemade pies and cream puffs. Another passion of hers was creating beautiful crafts for family and friends. She also had a heck of a green thumb, which was reflected every summer with beautiful flowers being placed perfectly in both the front and backyard of her home. 

She was always up for anything involving family whether it was four-wheeling, camping, fishing, weekend vacations, picnics or just a simple drive. Paula was funny, fierce and creative, and she loved her family more than anything in the world. She was a hard worker who always put her family first. She was the definition of classy yet had a wild side that few got to see. She was well respected and able to light up any room she walked into.

The loss of our beloved mother and grandmother will forever be felt. Paula was a gift, a blessing and a true matriarch