Barbara Jean Rodriguez (Freas), 74, of Hugo, MN, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Saturday, February 6, 2021 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Barb grew up in Northeast Minneapolis and graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1964. She was an avid sports lover and became a cheerleader in high school. Throughout her childhood, she spent many summers with her mother and brother living at Maple Lake in Mentor, MN.
Barb met her husband Richard (Dickie) working at John Morrell meat plant in St. Paul. They married and lived in St. Paul before moving to Hugo in 1994. Early in their marriage, Barb worked as a daycare provider where she developed practical cooking skills. She then worked at Cub Foods where she retired as a Bakery Manager before becoming a USPS mail carrier until age 72. Barb and Dickie were active members of St. Maryâs Catholic Church in St. Paul where Barb was a choir member for many years.
She learned to cook authentic Mexican dishes through her mother-in-law that her family loved. She was known for her tacos with homemade tortillas, even serving these at the White Bear Bar during Vikings games, along with her award winning chocolate chip cookies. Barb excelled at hosting large gatherings.
Barb was welcoming and accepting of all, kind, warm and generous. She had a way of making people feel special and turning strangers into friends. She was vibrant and, despite her years, was young and up for fun. Barb was always the hard worker, determined and lived a life of service to others. She enjoyed traveling; including recent trips to London, Mexico and Las Vegas, loved the MN Vikings and enjoyed being loud at games with her family. Barb enjoyed trips to the casino, playing cribbage, reading by the pool, crossword puzzles, collecting matchbooks and time with her neighbors.
Barb was loyal to her family and had a special relationship with each of her six children. She enjoyed planned days and activities with her grandchildren. Barbâs loving husband, Dickie, was by her side every moment during her illness, an example of strength and love for the family.
Barb was preceded in death by her parents, Shirley Freas and Lawrence Freas and granddaughter, Nicole Freas. Survived by her loving husband of almost 41 years, Richard Rodriguez, brother Bob (Josephine) Freas and six children; Michaun Malik, Chris Freas, Jennifer Anderson, Matthew (Stacy) Rodriguez, Jacob (Dawn) Rodriguez and Katie (Cole) Lowell; 13 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild; Pyper (daughter, Penelope) Malik, Noah Malik, William Rossi, Steve (Bri) Grimaluskus, Britni (Jacob) Hainzlsperger, Tyler Freas, Marriana Andersen, Abigail McNair, Jakob Rodriguez, Lily Rodriguez, Violet Rodriguez, Vivienne Lowell and Nico Lowell.
A celebration of Barbâs life will be planned for this Spring/Summer.