Patricia Helene Shortall Rodriguez
Patricia Helene Shortall Rodriguez was born on September 2, 1935, in San Francisco, to Dorothy Helene Beaufort and Thomas Joseph Shortall. She died on December 25, 2022, at the Mariposa at Ellwood Shores community in Goleta, CA.
Patricia grew up in the Bay Area of northern California, in San Francisco and San Carlos, where she lived in a house built by her mother at 1379 Geneva Street. She graduated class of 1953 from Sequoia High School in Redwood City.
Patricia, who always loved history, was proud of the fact that her Shortall family included a judge and other prominent citizens in early San Francisco. Her grandfather was a jeweler there, which nurtured her lifelong interest in design, art, fashion, and jewelry. She long remembered her grandmother taking her along to downtown San Francisco to buy diamonds for the family business.
She was an avid reader from childhood. The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series sparked her enthusiasm for mysteries, which she continued as an adult, adding historical fiction and romance to her reading repertoire.
In her youth, she loved to go out fishing in the San Francisco Bay with her father on his boat. But “The Duchess” was her pride: a 1950 four-door Ford sedan. She loved to polish her little jewel, as she also called it, and race it around the bay area streets.
On May 29, 1958, Patricia married Arthur Anthony Rodriguez, the love of her life. They had four children together: Steven, Mark, Paul, and Elise, and remained together for more than forty years, until Art’s passing on November 10, 1999. Patricia was also stepmother to Michael Rodriguez, Art’s first son, who lived with them for a few years early in their marriage.
Art’s work took them to La Crescenta near Los Angeles; then Bishop, California; Tonopah in Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and finally Las Vegas, where the young family lived for many years in a house that Pat and Art designed and built together. With their children grown, they moved again to Albuquerque, before retiring to Hot Springs, Arkansas. After Art passed, Patricia stayed on in Hot Springs for some time before moving to Foley, Alabama, to be near family, then back to Hot Springs.
Pat loved camping and hiking, and the Rodriguezes frequently took family camping vacations throughout the western United States. Pat’s sense of adventure would come out when she’d pick any road she saw, usually a dirt road, and urge Art to take it—leading to great surprises or minor disasters.
Patricia was foremost a homemaker, but she did work before her marriage for one of the major airlines in the early days of the industry. In the 80s she cultivated her interest in fashion and jewelry through selling cosmetics at Dillard’s in Las Vegas and jewelry in Albuquerque.
A skilled seamstress, Patricia made many of her own and her young daughter’s clothes, as well as a few shirts for her son Paul, including a Western shirt in the days of Urban Cowboy.
Patricia also loved animals all her life. She had many dogs through the years and was knowledgeable about the history and purpose of different breeds. Her last, precious dog Gabby was often by her side during her last days.
In her later years, her loving son Paul and daughter-in-law Dorie encouraged Pat to move back to California, first to Los Alamos north of Santa Barbara to live with them, so they could help take care of her.
At 84 she got to indulge her sense of adventure once more when she soared over Santa Barbara and the surrounding countryside in a real World War II era training plane owned by a local pilot, taking off from the Santa Barbara City Airport where her son Paul worked.
On Valentine’s Day in 2020, Patricia became a resident at Mariposa at Ellwood Shores, where her daughter-in-law Dorie serves as Activities Director and could keep her engaged with all the wonderful amenities of that community. At Mariposa, Pat enjoyed gardening, loved the tea parties, and relished a beer and a good game of bocce ball with her friend Charlie. She also enjoyed the art classes, where she created a beautiful piece from her favorite Southwest color palette in her final class. The family would like to thank all the staff at Mariposa for their attentive and personal care; and extend a special thank you to the nurses at Central Coast Hospice for their wonderful, compassionate care in Patricia’s last days.
From the early years of her marriage, Patricia found fellowship, and took comfort, in sharing her hope as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Patricia is survived by her remaining children Steven, Paul, and Elise; stepson Michael; nephew Paul Shortall; grandchildren Josh, Seth, Gabriel, and Tabitha; and great grandchildren Kyle, Jessica, Alexis, Ethan, Kaylee, Virginia, and Bodhi.
A memorial was held for Patricia this Saturday, January 7, 2023, at 1 p.m., at Mariposa at Ellwood Shores, 190 Via Jero, Goleta, CA 93117.
A service will be held on January 27 at 12:30 p.m. at the Little Rock, Arkansas, veteran’s cemetery, where her ashes will be laid to rest with her beloved late husband Arthur Anthony Rodriguez.