Anthony Derayunan Rodriguez died suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Those who knew and loved him called him "Tony."
He called everyone "friend." Tony was born May 7, 1963, in Manila, the Philippines, to Rick and Hope Rodriguez. The family immigrated to the United States in December 1968 for Rick's work as a civil engineer. They settled in Chicago to be near extended family. A professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where Tony earned his bachelor degree recognized his innate abilities to serve others through the art and craft of mental health therapy. With this support, Tony went on to graduate from Loyola University, Chicago, with a master of social work degree. He then became a licensed clinical social worker, which was his calling and passion.
Tony met his wife, Jennifer Gail Ohman, on Oct. 1, 1994. They married on Aug. 5, 1995. Tony and Jennifer welcomed two beloved sons into their union. Ricardo "Ricky" Ohman Rodriguez in July 1997 and Paul Anthony Rodriguez in December 2001. Tony and Jennifer were married for 21 years.
In 2003, Tony felt called to serve adult men surviving childhood sexual abuse and violence through therapy. He opened his business, The Men's Center, with the tag line "A place for healing, mindfulness and possibilities" the following fall. During this time, Tony served as a board member for the international group, Male Survivor. He expanded his work a few years later to serve people living with and suffering from sexual addictions and compulsions. In 2011, Tony and two colleagues wanted to fill a gap in the therapeutic literature realizing the need for for a resource for partners of people suffering from sexual addictions. They wrote and published "Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts." This book is widely used throughout the world. Tony presented workshops, too many to name, for other therapists throughout the United States.
Tony's work, the work he felt called and compelled to do, impacted many lives.
Tony leaves a great hole in his passing. He was a man of great faith in a loving and grace-giving God, as well as in the ability of people to heal and the primacy of relationships in our lives. He loved with a whole heart, worked to eradicate the shame surrounding sexual violence and sexual addictions and lived each day with integrity, a warm smile, and the willingness to keep loving and building his relationships and to help others to do the same.
With his passing Tony leaves his wife and partner, Jennifer; sons, Ricky and Paul; parents, Rick and Hope Rodriguez; sister, Riphanie Rodriguez Salgado and her husband, Michael Salgado; nieces, Marissa, Christina, Angela, Cassandra, Matilda and Grace; and nephew Joseph; aunts, Dr. Salud Rodriguez-Roque and Marilyn Derayunan; uncle, Jun Derayunan; godfather, Dr. Augusto Abeleda; mother-in-law, Gail Ohman; brother- and sister-in-law, Peter Ohman and Jamie Ettelson; and many, many members of his extended family.
Tony was preceded in death by his grandparents; aunt, Mrs. Lourdes Rodriguez- Alaras; godmother, Ms. Naty Rodriguez; and father-in-law, Paul F. Ohman.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Iowa City by pastors of the Lutheran faith. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Tony's memory. To share a thought, memory or condolence, please go to the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
Posted on Wednesday, 17 August 2016