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Josefa Rodriguez

Josefa Rodriguez Josefa “Jo” Rodriguez was a devoted wife, caring mother, grandmother, sister, friend and puppy mommy. After a months-long struggle, she left this world on December 31st, 2021, at age 84 while residing at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan, KS.

Jo was born to Refugio and Maria Hernandez on March 17th, 1937, in Staples, Texas. She was the 2nd daughter to a family of 7. Josefa was preceded in death by her husband Robert Rodriguez, a son Robert Rodriguez Jr, her parents and siblings, Ramona, Fidencio, Juan, Jesus, Francisco Hernandez, in addition to many beloved pets.

Josefa is survived by her two daughters, Rebecca Darkow (Fred) of Manhattan and their son Robert, and Ramona Merriam (David) of San Antonio, Texas and their daughter Aella. She is also survived by one brother, Refugio Hernandez of South Bend, IN, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and two surviving puppies who will miss her greatly.
Jo was a 1958 graduate from Greene High School in South Bend, Indiana. On September 30 of 1961 she was united in marriage to Robert Rodriguez at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in New Carlisle, Indiana.

In her early adult years, she worked as a candy striper at a local hospital in Indiana. She was an AIB graduate and received Wilton’s certification in cake decoration. She also taught cake decorating classes at University For Man in Manhattan, KS. Jo attended Kansas State University as an Art major and considered herself a forever Wildcat. She loved to decorate cakes her husband made for weddings and events that he talked her into. She like to travel with her husband on business trips, bowl on the family team, fish, and attend numerous Kansas State football games and tailgates with her family and friends.

Josefa always said the best part her life was raising her children, Robert (Bob Jr.) Rebecca and Ramona. She was actively involved in all aspects of her family’s life to ensure that her kids and husband were supported and loved as much as possible. For that we are eternally grateful.

This love of her family was enhanced at the births of her grandchildren. Spending time with them and seeing them grow was a joy. This became her focus as well as with her daughters and spoiling her two puppies.

We will miss making tamales, cooking, watching K-State Football and travelling with her. In her later years, she was especially cell phone challenged, regardless of what she said. Jo was a one in a million person who taught us patience, perseverance and how to quietly love by your actions. We will remember her kindness, laughter and love for the rest of our days.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday January 8, 2022 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, with Deacon Buzz Harris officiating. Interment will follow the service in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery – Elbow Community in Manhattan.

The family suggests memorial contributions in memory of Jo to the Riley County Humane Society. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

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