John was born in Boston on Feb. 23 in 1929 to Genevieve Simmons Rodrigues of South Carolina and John Rodrigues of Cape Verde Islands.
As a young boy he contributed to the household by helped his father in cutting and selling wood. John also worked as a shoe shine boy at a young age to help support the family. As the oldest son, he was taught boxing by his father and would say that those lessons helped him survive all of his life.
His religious upbringing was at the Concord Baptist Church in Boston.
John was educated in the Boston Public School system. He left school to join the Army, from 1946 to 1953, as a paratrooper in the 187th Division and fought in the Korean War. His experiences in jumping out of planes, being a soldier and facing combat shaped him into the man he would become. John received an Honorable Discharge in 1953.
Upon returning home, John married Helen and they had a daughter. To support his family, he attended barbering school and became a master barber for many years.
Johnny had a great sense of humor and was a captivating storyteller, sharing his life-lessons through his unique oral history skills. He would always entertain his nieces and nephews, who he loved so much, with stories of how to make their way in this world and have fun doing it.
Although John’s main profession was as a barber, he took great pride in any kind of work that he attempted. He loved to bake and cook; make things with wood, such as cabinets and other furniture; could do construction work; and, enjoyed fishing. John seemed to take pleasure in looking at a problem and then solving it – no matter the problem.
Over the years, John had made friends everywhere he lived: at Fort Devens, Mass.; in Harlem, New York; Dale & Beaufort, South Carolina; and, of course, throughout Boston. As a bachelor, he seemed to thrive on adventure.
John was proceeded in death by his:
FATHER - John D Rodrigues, STEPMOTHER - Beatrice Graham Rodrigues, SISTERS - Alma Curry, Katherine Taylor, Julia Butler, BROTHERS – Paul Rodrigues, and James Rodrigues.
BROTHERS-IN-LAWS – Frank Butler, Allen Curry, Charles Brewer
SISTER-IN-LAWS – Vermelle Smith Rodrigues
NEPHEWS – Brent Henry, Callahj Jaden Henry
NIECE – Lisa Rodrigues
John leaves each to their own special memories: SISTERS - Beatrice Idella Jackson, G. Priscilla Brewer of Boston, MA, BROTHERS - Peter Rodrigues of Boston, MA and Andrew Rodrigues of Pawley Island, SC, SON - Michael Watson, Tampa, FL. SISTER-IN-LAW - Myra Rodrigues and a host of Nieces and Nephews who loved him very much and will miss him dearly. Also, a host of Great-nieces and nephews.