Date of Birth: November 02, 1955
Date of Death: April 18, 2021
Santos Laffita Rodriguez was born in Palenque, Guantanamo, Cuba on November 2nd, 1955 to Marina (Ceberina) Rodriguez-Castanedo and Eugenio Laffita. Santos began working at the age of 8 in a tobacco plantation to help his family. They lived simply in a house made of mud and sticks, no windows, and palm leaves for a roof. Santos came to the United States on June 3rd, 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. On July 31st, 1980 he was welcomed to the home of Mary and Byron Hawkins in Eau Claire Wisconsin. Santos became the 7th Hawkins kid in the bunch. He never hesitated to help a single soul. Even with the cultural differences and not knowing how things worked in the United States, he did anything and everything he could to help. When asked to mow the lawn, he went outside with 2 machetes and mowed the lawn like a golfer’s green not realizing we have fancy machines that do the work for you here. Santos had the best outlook and moto on life he not only taught his children and grandchildren, but anyone who was willing to learn from such a wise soul. His moto on life was "when you get the chance to help someone, don't expect something in return. Do it because it’s the right thing to do." A moto that I hope anybody who knew Santos, continues to live by. Santos worked selling newspaper for a short time, and went into the construction business doing concrete, siding, windows, and remodeling his home in Altoona Wisconsin. Santos met his wife Sheri in 1981 and welcomed there first son Christopher in April of 1983. They welcomed there second son Daniel in August of 1984 and their daughter Ashley in December 1988. Santos and Sheri adopted their sons David, Peter, and Paige on September 11th, 1996 and their daughter Morgan on March 1st, 2000. Santos belonged to Faith Church in Eau Claire Wisconsin where he was the pitcher on the soft ball league for many years. In 2013 he had the joy of not only playing his favorite sport with his sons Chris and Danny, but his son in law Richard and his grandson Tyler. That was the first year they had won the league championship. One of the best moments of his life. Santos and Sheri made the decision to move down south after their children had all grown and left the nest. Santos and Sheri moved to Phoenix Arizona in November 2014 with their daughter Ashley (Richard, grandchildren Jazzlyn, and Jase) and their son Peter. Santos started working a general maintenance job until he was hired as chief engineer at the Best Western in Scottsdale Arizona, where he worked up until his death. Santos tested positive for Covid 19 on January 31st, 2021. He was on a ventilator for 6 weeks, but his body could not fight any longer. Santos passed away on April 18th, 2021 with his wife Sheri, Sons Chris and Danny, and daughters Ashley and Morgan by his side. My husband’s legacy will be one of a courageous, compassionate man with an exceptional life story unparalleled integrity, countless friends and a family that loved him. I will miss him more than I have ever missed anyone or anything in my entire life. And I know that I am not alone in that. Santos is survived by his loving wife of 32 years Sherilyn, Children; Christopher Rodriguez (Amanda grandchildren Karson and Kaleb), Daniel Rodriguez (Karen grandchildren Andrea and Cody) Ashley Bahl (Richard grandchildren Jazzlyn and Jase), Morgan Skinner (Taylor), Peter Rodriguez, Michael Hoyt (Heather grandchildren Zach and Mallory), Donald Hoyt (Erica grandchildren Tyler, Mckenna, Cameron, and Jeremy) Nathaniel Hoyt (Nikki grandchildren Harmony, Peyton, Nathaniel JR, and Brody), David Rodriguez (Jackie), Paige Rodriguez (grandchildren Malikiah, Madilyn, Ava, and Adrien ) Cassandra Krumrey (grandchildren Alba and Velvet) and many brothers and sister, nieces and nephews, and cousins not only in the United Stated but in Cuba, and Germany as well. Santos is proceeded in death by his mother and father Marina (Cebrina) Rodriguez and Eugenio Laffita, his “American” mother and father Mary and Byron Hawkins, and his mother-in-law and father-in-law Beatrice and Joseph Massey.
A celebration of life is to be held Saturday May 15th, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. located at Best Funeral Services 501 East Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85020