Michael Lee Rodrigue, 76, passed away on January 26, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Florence, SC, to Kathleen Elizabeth Jones Rodrigue and Earl William Rodrigue, Sr, Mike will be remembered as a devoted family man and artisan. His Cajun ancestry forged his personality - love of family and friends, a strong work ethic, positive attitude, impish humor, and his ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Mike was a gentle and compassionate person who enjoyed growing roses, but also a strong and determined man who valued integrity, tenacity and commitment in everything he undertook. Mike's first love was his family and friends. Survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary Elizabeth Lam Rodrigue, Betsy was his loving partner in business and in life. He was the proud father of three sons, three daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren: Michael Lee Rodrigue II and Jennifer Swisher, and children Calvin, Talulah, and Antonio; Brian Christopher Rodrigue and Tiina K.O. Rodrigue, and children Elizabeth, Michael, Layla, Ayalla and Yoni; and George Kevin Rodrigue and Crystal Rodrigue. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Patrick J Rodrigue and Susan Rodrigue. His second love was his Work. Mike's metal artistry and expertise spanned 60+ years. As co-owner of Virginia Architectural Metals for 26 years, his workmanship and originality will be memorialized in his ornamental metal handrails, fences, and gates at the White House, the Library of Congress, the Pentagon, the U.S. Naval Academy, and businesses, churches, and homes in DC, MD, and VA. The Company was recognized with multiple international awards from the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) as well as the Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award. Before moving to Fredericksburg, his work can still be found in universities, businesses, churches, and homes in SC, NC, and GA. As a born artist, his ability to conceptualize and capture an image was rekindled at age 60 in his oil paintings. Because of his love of the arts and sciences, he enjoyed painting, ceramics, classical music, ballet, astronomy and geology. A graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, SC, Mike served in Vietnam where he received the Bronze Star with V-Device for valor under fire. In lieu of flowers or other donations, memorial contributions may be made to the advancement of the ceramic arts at Rodrigue Studios Building Fund (https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-michael-rodrigue) A celebration of Mike's life will be held in April when flowers are blooming and life is renewing. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
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