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Natercia “Maria” Rodrigues, age 90, passed away on Sunday September 27, 2020 comfortably in her own bed at her residence in Cambridge, MA surrounded by her family. She was born on September 4, 1930 in a small town on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores to Antonio Moniz da Sousa & Serafina DeJesus Moniz Da Sousa and was the youngest of 4 children. Natercia was always very outgoing and enjoyed spending time with her siblings, cousins, & many friends. At a young age she was a devout Catholic and regularly went to mass with her friends. She also had a passion to learn and teach. She graduated from the Teacher’s College in Sao Miguel and began teaching elementary students in her early 20s. She married Herminio Pimental Rodrigues in 1964 and they had a son John Anthony Rodrigues. In 1965 she and her husband immigrated to the United States with their son. It was a very difficult adjustment. Her degree from the Azores was not accepted and she could not teach. She did not know anyone and could not speak the language fluently. She was a resilient woman and learned to adjust and overcome the many obstacles. She graduated from Boston State College in 1975 and resumed her teaching career. She taught in several schools before eventually being assigned to the Lincoln Park Elementary School in Somerville, MA where she went on to teach in the bilingual program there for 24 years before her retirement in 1999.

Natercia had to endure her greatest adversity when her husband died in 1978.  She rose to the challenge and did an amazing job of raising a teenage son while maintaining her career. During these difficult times she found comfort in the Catholic Church and became a very active member of the St. Joseph’s Church in Somerville, MA. She made many friends there including Father Joseph Murphy who remained a close friend throughout the years. In 1984, she bought a condo with the money she had saved up since coming to America and moved to Cambridge. It gave her a sense of independence and pride she never imagined she would have. She became a member of the St. John’s Catholic Church and remained a permanent member of the North Cambridge Community until her passing.

She was a very caring person. As a schoolteacher Natercia touched many lives. She would always run into former students who would express their gratitude for having her as a teacher and thank her for helping them adjust to living in America. She developed friendships with many of her colleagues and enjoyed getting together with them to play cards, go out for an ice cream, spend weekends in Maine, or savor a delicious Cheesecake Factory desert. She enjoyed singing in the St. John’s Choir for over 20 years where she developed many great friendships. She cherished the time she got to spend with her grandchildren and was very proud of the two young men she watched them grow into.

Natercia loved to read and listen to various genres of music. She absolutely loved the Peanuts character Snoopy and had an extensive collection of Snoopy memorabilia. She enjoyed watching various soap operas and discussing these stories with her friends. She loved to engage in philosophical discussions and was always open minded to other people’s point of view. She was very proud of her Portuguese heritage and never let her son forget how to speak the language. She always cherished her memories of her final visit to Sao Miguel in 1999. 

Natercia is survived by her son John Anthony Rodrigues Sr., daughter-in-law Carolyn Rodrigues, grandchildren John Anthony Rodrigues Jr. & Thomas Aaron Rodrigues, sister Eulalia Monico, brothers Aristides Da Sousa & Eduino DeJesus, nieces Ana Bella Da Sousa, Louisa DeJesus, & Sidonia Da Costa, nephews Mario Jorge Da Sousa and Antonio DeJesus, and many more cousins, grandnieces, grandnephews, and a tremendous group of lifelong friends. A mass will be held at St. John’s Church in Cambridge, MA on Tuesday October 27th @11AM to celebrate Natercia’s life. This will be followed by a burial ceremony at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA.

Comments   

# Vito & Mary 2020-10-26 20:54
J-Rod & Family

Our condolences to you & your family

Veet & Mary
Xoxo
# Louise Caiazzo 2020-10-26 23:31
Johnny, Carolyn & boys I’m so sorry to learn of Vo’s passing. She was such a devoted Mother and a superb Grandmother and will surely be missed. My thoughts are with you all.
Always with love.

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