Rodney J. Contreras

05/22/1965 - 07/13/2022

Rodney J. Contreras (1965-2022).

Died peacefully in St. Petersburg, Florida with his sister Ruth by his side on July 14th, 2022.

Rodney was born May 22, 1965, in Toledo, Ohio to Mother Rita Ruiz, who predeceased him. He grew up in a large, loving, family with 5 sisters. Growing up everyone knew him as “Puppy” because our Aunt Mary would call him “Poppy” (meaning the male figure). The nickname stuck, and he would be the sole male who all of my sisters agree, was the love of our life.

When Rod moved to Florida, especially St. Petersburg, we knew he was never going to come home. He loved the places where he worked especially Gratzzi Italian Grill, but most of all he loved his customers. Rod would plan his week around who was in town, he would take time to go to his favorite places to eat and have drinks. Whenever we would try to get him to come home for the holidays he would pass and let us know holidays is when he could see all of his customers and friends. Over the years his customers became part of his family, and their kids would call him “Uncle”.

If Rod filled your Facebook or text with sarcasm or inappropriate remarks you knew he loved you. Rod never met a laugh he didn’t love or a person he couldn’t care for behind the laughter. But, his heart, though big and full, was also his greatest weakness as he struggled in the last few days of his life.

Rod was an extraordinary and loving brother and the “Greatest Uncle”. He will be greatly missed by all but will live on forever in our stories and laughter of his life.

Rod requested to be cremated. A memorial service will be held in his hometown Toledo, Ohio in November so that all of his nieces and nephews and other family members can attend.

We would like to thank Gratzzi Italian Grill in Saint Petersburg for holding a “Celebration of Life” for him and all of the friends and family who attended. It was truly a great honor to see the outpouring of stories of how Rod had touched their lives. Thanks again Gratzzi. A Memorial will be done in his honor and would be set up in Saint Petersburg, his home away from home.

Rod leaves behind 5 sisters, Loretta Contreras, Maggie Garcia, Rhonda Pritchard, Ruth Hernandez and many nieces, nephews.

Service Information:

Pick one service type: Interment
Service Date: 2022-07-17