How befitting the celebration of float designer Raul Rodriquez’ life to fill a church with roses, gorgeous music and throngs of people who loved the man and his work.
Saturday, March 7 at the majestic, yet somehow intimate, St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church in Pasadena, the community of hundreds of “close friends”, all touched by Raul’s love, generosity and artistry ,gathered to honor an inimitable life. The funeral mass did not disappoint for emotional and artistic content. With passionate music from the Mariachi Sol de Mexico, beautiful solos by Linda Hart and Rafael Sosa Morera, and liturgical pieces sung by Jacky Ibarra, including Ave Maria, the church, bursting with celebrants, was treated to moments of grandeur and of deeply personal remembrances.
Gregorio Luke, the former Counsel of Cultural Affairs for Mexico, proved that point when he spoke at the event, “A life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”.
Robert Cash, Raul’s husband and partner of 15 years, shared that he “would change the bad things, but not that we went through them together” and then led Raul’s large, extended family in a loud Mexican cheer. Stephanie Edwards, after lauding the historical contribution of Raul’s artistry to the Rose Parade and her highly personal, professional relationship with him, recanted the joys of a simple taco dinner in his kitchen as well as the elegant open houses at Cash and Rodriguez’ Hancock Park home for hundreds of friends.
The powerful military honors with taps and presentation of the flag to Robert, honoring Raul’s service in the U.S. military, were august tribute for a man who, according to Luke, “not only excelled as an artist, but invented an art form”.
His ephemeral art, over 500 Rose Parade floats created through months of preparation and enjoyed but for minutes, have enriched the lives of millions, just as his art for sharing his heart with so many in this community, will live on in them forever.
– – – –Pam Tarr is an advertising and branded content producer with Production for the People, as well as friend and long-time fan of Raul Rodriguez.