Gabe Rodriguez Jr. is grateful for the support his family has received after the unexpected death of his father last month.
Gabe Rodriguez passed away on April 19 from a heart attack while helping a friend work on his truck at the age of 52, leaving behind his wife, Ana, and their three children.
A GoFundMe account was established to help the family with  funeral cost and other expenses, and fundraisers have been organized to assist the family financially.
“It means a lot,” Rodriguez Jr. said about the way the community has supported him and his family in their time of need. “We’re  so blessed and grateful for everything that’s been done for us.”
 He added that the family has been writing countless thank you cards to the many people who have helped, or sent their condolences.
Gabe, a junior at Yreka High School, is a member of the Miners football team and was a starting defensive back and  backup quarterback this past fall.
This Sunday, members of the Yreka High School football and softball teams will be bagging groceries from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grocery Outlet located at 121 Montague Rd. in Yreka.
A portion of the sales at the store during this time period will go towards the Rodriguez family. There will also be a food booth serving items like hot dogs and cotton candy, with all the proceeds from the booth going to the family, YHS head football and softball coach John Marquez said.
“We want to do anything we can to help Gabe and his family out,” Marquez said.
On the night his father passed away, Gabe and his mother were around three blocks away from the home where his father was at, when they  received the news he had collapsed. 
When Gabe arrived, he found his father unresponsive on the garage floor and performed CPR on him, with the ambulance arriving a few minutes later. His father was taken to the hospital, where he passed away a short time later.
At the funeral service at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Yreka on April 28, more than 20 members of the YHS football team wore their black football uniforms as a way to honor Gabe Rodriguez.
Rodriguez Jr., who was born and raised in Yreka, said many of the players were close to his father, having grown up with him, and saw his dad as another father figure. He added that it meant a lot to him to have them at the service and to know they had his back.
Gabe remembered his father as a generous and friendly man that made friends quickly and was always there for his children. He said that his father made sure to attend all his kids events and took great pride and joy in them.
“He was always there for us, and was a great dad” Gabe said.  “He was just one of those truly special people.”
Rodriguez could be found on many Friday night’s at Miner Stadium on the sidelines during football games, volunteering his time as  a member of the chain crew, which carries the down markers during  games.
For 19 years, he was a member of the night shift crew at the Walmart in Yreka and worked hard to provide for his family. his son said. Gabe added that his father loved to hunt and fish, as well as playing pool.
“He was always happy all the time and didn’t have an unkind word to say about anybody,” Gabe said about his father.
It’s certainly been a very difficult time for his immediate family,  Gabe said, which, besides his mother, includes his older sister Susana, and his younger brother Emanuel, 11, but they are handling the tragic circumstances the best they can.
Marquez, the YHS FB and SB coach, said it was important to him, his players, and fellow coaches to help Gabe and his family in their time of need.
“He’s a great kid that’s going through – obviously ­– a difficult time right now,” Marquez said,
Marquez said that they are grateful to Grocery Outlet for stepping up and agreeing to let them put on this event to help the Rodriguez family. It’s been wonderful to see the way the community has stepped up  when sometime is in need,  Marquez said.
This included helping raise funds for the family of a YHS football player that lost their home in the Grade Fire in August. Marquez, who is in his first year coaching and teaching at YHS, said one of the reasons he chose to move to Yreka was the way everyone supported and took care of one another.