Joseph “Babe” Rodriguez, 97 of Troy, formerly of Fairmont City, born on June 5, 1923 in Fairmont City, passed away on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.
Joseph retired from American Zinc in Fairmont City then went on to work as a laborer for Pillsbury Flour Mill in St. Louis, MO. He was a lifelong member of Fairmont Baptist Church and a proud member of Fairmont American Legion Post #961. As a top turret gunner, he flew 54 combat missions in the European Theater for the Army Air Corps during World War II and received the Army Air Medal and Four Oak Leaf Clusters. In his youth, he played softball, baseball, and pro soccer. In 1970 he was voted into the Fairmont City Hall of Fame. After retirement, Joseph took up golf and to his surprise, sunk a 150 yard hole-in-one.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Emmabelle (nee Cook); his parents, Francisco and Amanda (nee Valdez) Rodriguez; three sisters; and three brothers.
Survivors include three daughters, Bonnie (Ray) Bean, Linda (Tom) Branz and Debbie (Steve) Twele; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; two sisters; numerous nieces and nephews.
Services with military honors were held on Monday, October 5, 2020 at Barry
Wilson Funeral Home, Maryville. He was buried at Buck Road Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Fairmont Baptist Church, 2733 N. 44th Street, Fairmont City 62201 or can be received at the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at barrywilsonfuneralhome.com
Barry Wilson funeral home was in charge of the arrangements.