Belinda Rodriguez entered everlasting rest on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at her home in West New York, NJ
Born July 3, 1957 in the Bronx, NY to Julia and Jenaro Rodriguez, Belinda arrived just in time for July 4th, a fitting connection to the fireworks she would bring as the "Life of the party" in her 63 years.
The name Belinda, which means beautiful or pretty one, was challenged with a medical diagnosis of grand mal epilepsy at the age of four. She attended Public School 60 and St. Athanasius Elementary schools. Having epilepsy was considered a stigma at the time which included many interruptions in the classroom and phone calls to the home. As a result, it made it difficult for Belinda to partner and continue her education with traditional schools. Yet, she managed to earn a diploma from James Monroe High School through the home-schooling program. After graduation, she pursued a career in cosmetology and used the skills she acquired there in her daily life. She wore matching outfits for every holiday or special occasion while completing her look with a tremendous attention to detail regarding her accessories, hair and makeup. She was always ready for a great time!
In 1980 she married Manuel Lassalle Jr. and became a mother for the first time with the birth of Manuel Lassalle III. A year later, the family would welcome Justin Jenaro. In 1996, she re-married and Luis Melendez and Belinda had a new baby boy named Louie Tanner.
Belinda continued to live a simple life enjoying food, shopping at malls, celebrating in parades, going to the movies and sharing selfies with her extended family. She led a very frugal existence short on extravagance but long on laughs and love. She was a stand-out with her Latin moves on the dance floor and cracked notes to the music legends of Michael Jackson, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. Children and adults alike easily gravitated to her. She was genuine and expressed her feelings without hesitation. She had a love and intense fascination for all animals which led to her having three Guinea pigs and a dog as pets. A New York Yankees fan of the "Bronx Bombers," she also followed the school sports and music activities of her sons Mannie, Justin and Louie, as well as the football career of her nephew Evan Rodriguez. Other loves included watching Spanish telenovelas, James Bond movies, Elvis Presley and comedy classics like I Love Lucy and Abbot and Costello.
Every person that Belinda met shared a unique relationship with her. She made fiends easy and two close friends, Chicki and Angie, spent many seasonal events with her. As for me, my sister was always beautiful and she believed I was, too, even when I sometimes did not.
Middle sister, Frances Rodriguez, quoted that growing up my parents set me to watch over my two sisters, Belinda and Evelyn. Belinda and I had run-ins because she always took my clothes and stained them before I even had a chance to wear them. I envied her figure and even though we had our differences, I always loved her.
Belinda Rodriguez passed unexpectedly at home on December 22nd in West New York, NJ. She is survived by her life companion of 20 years, Wilma Martin; sisters Frances Rodriguez and Evelyn Rodriguez-Murray and brother-in-law Mark, who joked with her deeply; three incredible sons: Mannie, Justin and Louie; daughter-in-laws, Geneker, Kiya, Maria and Ashley; six grandchildren: Alysha, Gabriella, Jakob, Melina, Alondra, and Addyson and nephews: Evan & his wife Olivia, David Anthony, Jarid, Genaro, and Fernando, grand-nephews, Jeremiah, Valentino and grand-niece, Baby Sage.
Our deepest gratitude to all our extended family members and friends, ACS and NJ neighbor. Also a special acknowledgement to the Union City Adult Medical Centerknown as 2nd Home.
Visitation for family and friends will be on Saturday, December 26, 2020, from 3:00 – 7:00 pm at the funeral home with a maximum of 50 people at a time.
Obituary loving submitted by TomS, Evelyn R. and Frances R.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Belinda Rodriguez, please visit our floral store.