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 Rodrigo Tadeo Agudelo

Photo added by Geraldine "Gerry" Humes

Rodrigo Tadeo Agudelo

  • Birth 9 Aug 1938 Colombia
  • Death 16 Nov 2007 Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, USA
  • Burial Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 23019363

Published: Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 3:52 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 9:00 p.m.

Rodrigo Agudelo presided at weddings, baptisms and funerals as one of the first permanent deacons in the Santa Rosa Diocese of the Catholic Church.

The Colombian-born chemist died Friday at his Santa Rosa home following a series of strokes. He was 69.

He felt a need to serve the church, said his daughter, Adriana Call. "He saw it as an honor and a privilege to be chosen," she said. "It was a very powerful thing for him. He took it seriously, in the sense that it was a mission."

Agudelo was one of 11 men -- all married -- who were the first deacons ordained in the Santa Rosa Diocese in 1995. The office had been re-established in 1967 by Pope Paul VI. Deacons deliver sermons and perform a variety of other clerical duties, but they're not the same as priests.

Agudelo attended the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, where he earned a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry. He later taught at the university before moving to the United States in 1968 to do postgraduate work at the University of California at Irvine.

He was employed at several drug companies in Southern California, developing vitamins and nutritional supplements.

He moved to Santa Rosa in 1978 to work for an independent laboratory. After he retired, Agudelo became director of Catholic Charities' immigration and resettlement program in Santa Rosa, helping immigrants obtain work permits and apply for citizenship.

He was active in Resurrection Parish and was a leader in the Christian Family Movement, teaching people how to improve their marriages through better communication, Call said.

"That's one of the things he was most proud of," she said. "He felt he was really making a difference."

Agudelo also was known for his sense of humor. "He allowed us to laugh at ourselves," Call said.

Agudelo's ministry had a profound impact on the Latino community, said John Gai, a fellow deacon from Arcata who also was ordained in 1995. "He was so enamored of people from all over Latin America," Gai said.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Stella Agudelo of Santa Rosa; two sons, Fernando Agudelo of San Jose and Andy Agudelo of Bend, Ore.; two brothers, Jay Agudelo of Redlands and the Rev. Mario Agudelo of Vatican City; and seven grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.

-- Steve Hart

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  • Created by: Geraldine "Gerry" Humes
  • Added: 21 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23019363
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rodrigo Tadeo Agudelo (9 Aug 1938–16 Nov 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23019363, citing Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, USA ; Maintained by Geraldine "Gerry" Humes (contributor 46795684) .