Pam Rodriguez, 64, was born July 28, 1954 in Topeka, Kansas. She passed away suddenly after a brief illness on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. She was the daughter of Dale and Elma (Dryden) Luthye.
She graduated from Topeka High School in 1972 and from the University of Kansas. She married First Sergeant Victor Rodriguez on March 23, 1991 in Phoenix, Arizona. Col. Rodriguez had an illustrious career in the military for which she and her family were very proud. She was the first female aviator and the first female commander in the Kansas National Guard; the first woman in Kansas to fly the Huey helicopter, the second woman to fly the Skycrane Helicopter in the U.S. Army and later flew Black Hawk helicopters. She was the first and only female commander of the Arizona Western Army Aviation Training Site (WATTS), she is honored in the Women's display at the Kansas National Guard Museum and also has an aircraft hangar named in her honor in Arizona. She is one of 17 military women from all branches of the service in the United States that were featured in the book "Living Legends and Living Our Story". After 27 years in the military, she retired. Pam and Victor returned to Kansas in 2012 where worked for the state of Kansas in the Office of Veteran's Affairs. Following her second retirement in 2017, they returned to Arizona to make their home in Payson.
Her husband, Victor survives of the home. She is also survived by her mother, Elma; sisters, Vicki Lee (Greg) and Sandra Summers (Steve), all of Topeka; her brother, Stephen Luthye (Melinda), Shawnee and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by step-daughters, Diane Sandoval (Oscar), Sylvia Rodriguez (Gilbert), Barbara Segovia (Daniel); step-sons, Victor, Jr (Debbie) and Robert; 14 step-grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father, Dale, sister-in-law, Diane Luthye and step-son, Richard Rodriguez.
Memorial services will be 10am Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Parker-Price Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, 245 NW Independence, Topeka. Visitation one hour prior.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Doorstep, 1119 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66604.
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