Rodolfo "Rudy" Lerma
Rodolfo "Rudy" Lerma
Alpha Squad 1970
JUNE 8, 1949 - JUNE 22, 2020
Rodolfo Lerma passed away on Monday, June 22, 2020, 14 days after celebrating his 71st birthday of June 8, 1949.
Rodolfo is predeceased by his parents, Manuel G. Lerma and Lorenza V. Lerma and his brother Roberto Lerma.
Rodolfo is survived by his loving daughter Regina Lerma and husband John Granberg, adorable grandson Montgomery Granberg, and his faithful companion Cocoa, his black Labrador for the past seven years.
He is lovingly remembered by his brothers Eduardo Lerma and wife Teresa Lerma, Ruben Lerma and wife Lorena Lerma; sister Edna Smith and husband Randolph Smith. Nieces and Nephews Manuel Alvarez, Rodolfo Lerma, David Lerma, Eduardo Lerma Jr, Josh Lerma, Matthew Lerma, Ivan Lerma, David Smith, Nathan Smith, Veronica Lerma, Jessica Marie Villalta, Jennifer Johnson, Lorena Lerma, Griselda Lerma, and Paula V. Lerma.
Rodolfo was a lifelong resident of El Paso. He graduated from Ysleta High School in 1968. The same year he received a draft notice and he enlisted into the United States Marine Corps. He later received orders to go to Okinawa and then to Vietnam. On January 19, 1970 Rodolfo was involved in an explosion where he received multiple fragment wounds to his abdomen, back, buttocks, and his left shoulder. As a result, Rodolfo spent one month in Da Nang then was sent by medevac to Guam Naval Hospital for another month. He arrived at Travis Air Force Base in March of 1970 and was transferred to William Beaumont Army Medical Center where he spent approximately 14 months recovering. Rodolfo was awarded the Purple Heart and was given a full medical retirement.
Not allowing his painful and lifelong injuries to limit him, he first enrolled in St. Phillips College in San Antonio, Texas then later went on to enroll in Nursing School and became a Registered Nurse. He practiced in the areas of med/surge, telemetry, the emergency room, ICU, psych, home health and in nursing homes over the course of the next 30 years. During his nursing career he held roles as charge nurse and director of nursing for several nursing agencies. Rodolfo also felt a calling to work with veterans, working as the National Service Officer for the Military Order of the Purple Heart from 1986-1990, he still held a weekend nursing job at Tigua Hospital during this time.
Rodolfo led a very active life style, he enjoyed going to the gym, taking kick boxing classes, zumba and walking his dog Cocoa on a daily basis. He entered into sobriety 29 years ago and also enjoyed attending mass every morning, both at St. Raphaels Catholic Church and St. Stephen Catholic Church.
Rodolfo loved his only grandson. He enjoyed spending time with his grandson and often picked him up from his pre-school and they would always enjoy ice cream and a happy meal at McDonald's. Daughter Regina would meet up with them after her daily nursing shift.
Not one day passed since that fateful day in Vietnam where Rodolfo did not suffer from pain in his body and the effects of PTSD. Rodolfo was not expected to survive his injuries in 1970, yet he led a fruitful and productive life in service to others for the next 50 years. May his Body and Soul now Rest in Peace. We love you and will miss you dearly.
Visitation will be held at Funeraria del Angel Central Funeral Home, 3839 Montana Ave., El Paso, Texas on Sunday, June 28, 2020 beginning 12:00 noon until 4:00 PM with the Rosary beginning at 2:00 PM. The funeral mass will be held on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Raphaels Catholic Church, 2301 Zanzibar Rd. El Paso, Texas. Interment to follow at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery.
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