Nelson Rodriguez of Fort Worth, a Baptist layman and a leader in both business and government, died Oct. 22. He was 67. He was born Jan. 24, 1951, in Harlingen to Benjamin and Aurora Rodriguez. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin and began an early career as an entrepreneur. At age 27, he was the first chair and president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The next year, he moved to Washington D.C., where he served in a series of presidential appointments during the Reagan administration. Rodriguez was the youngest senior executive at the Department of Commerce, won the Secretarial Achievement Award at the Department of Transportation and received the Affordable Housing Award at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was the founder and owner of the Nelrod Company in Fort Worth, an affordable housing and energy efficiency consulting firm. He served on the coordinating boards of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and CBF of Texas, and he chaired the national CBF finance committee. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Esther; sons, Nelson Jr., Joshua, Jacob and James; daughters, Cathy, Ester and Haley; four grandchildren; sister, Pearl Garza of Harlingen; and brothers, Ben Rodriguez of San Antonio, Hector Rodriguez of Dallas, David Rodriguez of Harlingen.
Obituary: Nelson Rodriguez
October 30, 2019