MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Carlos Rodriguez, a founding member and an “ever-present” figure of the south Minneapolis Mexican-American restaurant Pepito’s, died last Friday, a press release says. He died of complications from pancreatitis; he was 69.

He worked as the day manager at Pepito’s – a position he held for 41 years.

Born at General Hospital, Rodriguez grew up in north Minneapolis, where he won his Jr. Golden Gloves division (fighting for the Phyllis Wheatley Neighborhood house) and graduated from North High School, where he wrestled and played football. After high school, he sang in the R&B group Mota.

Joe Senkyr Minjares — Rodriguez’s nephew, a fellow Mota member who worked with Rodriguez to create Pepito’s – said Rodriguez was a “dedicated caregiver” and humorist.

“His reputation for always having a new joke will be missed,” Minjares said. “He brought a smile to the life of everyone who knew him.”

Rodriguez is proceeded in death, the press release says, by his parents, his sisters (Carmen Loma, Guadalupe Senkyr and Esperanza (Mabel) Eckblad) and his brothers (Jacinto Jr. and Joe).

He is survived by his sisters (Alvida “Millie” Bradach, Valentina “Evelyn” Sarris, Rosa Knutson, Elaine Alvord, Linda Pelto, Mary Lou Warra, Emma Snyder), brothers (Richard Rodriguez and Jesus Rodriguez), sister-in-law, and hundreds of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services will be held Tuesday.


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