On October 27, 1947 Jim and Sue Rodriguez welcomed their daughter, Lillian Marie to this world. She had 3 brothers, Jimmy (Maren; children: Anthony (preceded in death), Jimmy, Kevin and Marie), Andy (Cindy; child: Wesley, Jeremy and Jennifer) and Artemio (Lucy-preceded in death; children: Robert, Art, Bonnie-preceded in death; Artemo, Arturo and Sandra).
Mom was never one to back down and she believed in standing your ground, always! When Gonzales integrated schools she was one of the students who held the doors open to welcome the new students into school because she thought everyone should have equal opportunities! She took part in school activities and was a member of the Orange Jackets (spirit squad) at Gonzales High School and when she graduated, she pursued an education in the field of Radiologic Technology. Mom would tell stories about being there to see the actual use of many of the now-standard fields like MRI, Nuclear Medicine and other Radiologic studies. Mom worked at Gonzales Memorial Hospital for 20+ years, then Mobile MRI prior to retiring. She loved working with patients and talking to people. She had a laugh that was so robust and hearty, she would make others smile and laugh along. She would always do her best to make everyone feel welcomed.
Mom raised two children, Cheryl Garcia (Joey) and Isaac Anzaldua (Kena) who each had (still have) a best friend that was like an additional child- Janet Hadaway and David Piette and Marcos Flores. Mom looked out for all her kids and made sure they knew they were loved and always had a place to call home.
Mom would become a Girl Scout leader and be a part of a legacy that will never be forgotten. She formed a strong sisterhood with each of these women: Teresa Washichek, Dolores Pekar (preceded in death), Pauline Alvarez and in more recent years, Donna Pick. These amazing women worked hard to bring scouting to Gonzales. With headaches, tears and lots of love and dedication, Girl Scouts became an organization that would be a part of Gonzales for over 30 years. Mom loved her Scouts; they were all like her daughters. She made sure to teach us to be independent women who knew how to take care of ourselves. She made it a point to make sure we traveled outside of Gonzales so that we would know that there was a great big world out there. Her scouts traveled in a 15-passenger van-packed to the ceiling- snacks under the seats- stopping at truck stops to see what kind of trinkets they had- everyone’s music overlapping each other-singing songs, fighting and laughing like sisters. No matter what the situation her scouts meant the world to her and as much fun as she was, she was also stern and always, always, always wore red nail polish. Even today, those red nails are a thing of legends. You knew you better listen up when that red nail was pointing your way and shaking, her hands could speak volumes with barely any movement. She was a partner in my business of decorating T-shirts and encouraged me in every step of the way. It was because of her encouragement that I always felt beautiful and loved. She never put me down or made me feel less than. She recently told me how proud she was of both of her children and bragged because as she put it “how many parents have kids fighting over who is going to take care of them?!” Always Mammita, We will always fight for you!
Mom made time to do many things, but she loved watching Isaac play Football for the Mighty Apaches on Friday nights! She played powder puff football when she was younger, so she loved the game, and it was even better because of him. Mom and Isaac shared a bond like no other. He would tag along with her while she planned events, he watched how she worked with people during good times and during times of conflict. He learned how to appreciate everyone’s differences. She was so proud of him when he graduated and moved to the “big city” of San Antonio. During that time, Isaac married Wendy and they had two sons-Corey and Nico. The birth of these boys would impact mom’s life more than anything else she had ever experienced. She loved spoiling her boys and “sneaking” treats to them whenever she could. Isaac would remarry-years later-to Kena who brought her daughters (Haley and Kylee) into mom’s life and she loved them and instilled in them the same strength she did for all her girls. At one point, Mom found herself even more surprised when Isaac told her he was going to start his own business following in his grandfather’s footsteps and opening an autobody shop. She was nervous for him but when she saw the amazing work he was producing, she knew he had made the right choice.
We were lucky to have a mom that loved us and fought, fiercely for her family. She was loving and stern in just the right amounts. Each of us shared a secret language with her that the others wouldn’t understand, and she will be missed greatly. Mom had faith and had recently become stronger in her relationship with the Lord. She lived a long and full life. There is nothing that she wanted to do that wasn’t done, short of taking overseas trips or winning the lottery lol. Mom didn’t want sadness when she left this world because she lived a life of happiness and sarcasm and doing things her way!
On Wednesday June 15th Mom gained her wings and in true Lillian fashion, she left this world at 10:27am, that time matching the same date she was born. Thank you, Mom, for being the best mom any kids could ever have. Thank you for teaching us about respect, kindness, love and taking no crap! We will miss you until we meet again, but we will carry on your legacy and be there for each other and value life a little more knowing it is precious and fleeting.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm Monday, June 20, 2022 with the Holy Rosary being recited at 7 pm all in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022 in St. James Catholic Church. Interment will follow in the Gonzalez Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers include Joey Garcia, David Piette, Corey and Nico Anzaldua, Robert and Art Rodriguez. Honorary Pallbearers: Kevin, Jimmy, Wesley, Sam and Justin Rodriguez and Arnold Guerro. Memorials may be made to the Lillian Fernandez Fund, soon to be established. Friends may leave their condolences to the family by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.
Mom had requested that anyone attending her services, to please wear bright, happy colors as she felt this is not a time to be sad. Be Happy because she is out of pain and with her mom and dad celebrating the life she lived. Anyone is also welcomed to wear red polish on their nails in her honor.