Ivy Hoppe Rodriguez
Ivy Hoppe Rodriguez never saw working in the orchards as hardship. Instead, she taught her children to enjoy the outdoors while picking prunes, grapes, hops, apples and cherries across the West.
"It would be like a big fun summer thing," said her daughter Karen Colombana of Santa Rosa. "We would go swimming after and have fun around the campfire. She just loved the outdoors and loved to travel."
Rodriguez carried that cheery outlook through the surgeries of her four-year battle with kidney cancer. She passed away at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on Sunday. She was 70.
"She was an amazing, strong woman," Colombana said.
Rodriguez was born in 1937 on the Stewarts Point Rancheria and was a member of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians. She initially was home-schooled and spoke only her native language.
When her family moved to Healdsburg and she enrolled in school, teachers discouraged her from speaking Kashia, Colombana said. She dropped out of Healdsburg High School in the 10th grade after becoming pregnant with her first child, Ernie, and married his father, Leon Hoppe.
They remained together for 25 years and had seven children, two of whom died in early childhood, Colombana said.
The family moved to Cloverdale in 1953, where Leon Hoppe worked in the timber industry. In the summer, the family and some relatives would pile in a station wagon and drive as far as Oregon, Washington and Idaho to pick fruit.
True to her passion for travel, the family lived in Reno and San Francisco before buying a home in Santa Rosa in 1963.