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.
Rodriguez began working at the O'Connell and Vacu Dry Apple Canneries in Graton, where she remained for 31 years. The couple divorced in 1972. Two years later, Ivy met Rudy Rodriguez at a dance club. They stayed together 34 years until she passed away.
The couple loved the "danger and excitement" of rodeos, and "would do the rodeo circuit all over California" and Reno, Colombana said. Rudy Rodriguez is a foreman at a winery in Sonoma, where the couple lived.
Rodriguez was proud of her Kashia heritage and taught language classes at the Sonoma County Indian Health Project with other Kashia elders.
"At one point, we had four generations in the class," Colombana said. "She really wanted the people to learn the language or else it was going to die with her generation."
Rodriguez also took her children to annual celebrations on the reservation, including spring strawberry festivals and roundhouse ceremonies.
"She was always a happy person," Colombana said. "Even in the last years, she wasn't one to complain about anything."
In addition to her husband, daughter and son Ernie, Rodriguez is survived by sons Leon Hoppe Jr. and Robert Hoppe, both of Santa Rosa; daughter Sandy Pinola of Windsor; stepdaughters Estelle Rodriguez of Sacramento, Mikaela Rodriguez of Santa Ana, Regina Rodriguez and Constanza Rodriguez, both of Mexico; and sisters Inez Adams and Freda Davis, both of Santa Rosa.
Visitation is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, with a rosary recited at 5:30 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa.
A service at the chapel is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday. Interment will follow at Santa Rosa Memorial Park's Shiloh Road addition in Windsor.