Daniel was born June 1, 1928, in San Francisco, California, the third son of Harry and Carmen Rodrigues. The family moved to Caruthers in 1930, and he grew up on twenty acres at Kamm and Brawley Avenues. Daniel graduated from the Caruthers High School in 1945. He enjoyed both the elementary and high school and had many friends who he still sees occasionally to this day.
Upon graduation Daniel joined the Merchant Marine. He was barely 17 years old and had to have his mother sign a waiver in San Francisco. After about three months on Catalina Island learning to be a sailor, he was assigned a ship. Over the next three years, he sailed on many ships and saw a lot of ports.
In 1950 he was drafted in the U.S. Army when the Korean War was occurring. While stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dan started dating and then married his wife Melba who was a college student enrolled in a nursing program. Melba graduated from school and went on to become a registered nurse.
Dan was promoted to Captain of 196th Regimental Combat Team and the young married couple wound up in Anchorage, Alaska where Dan served out his tour of duty. Upon completion of Dan’s military service they returned to Caruthers to the twenty acre ranch Dan had purchased back in 1948. They still reside at the same location.
Dan and Melva have three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They are proud of the fact that their children have been good to them and never gave them any serious problems. Always active in the community, Dan served two terms as President of the Caruthers Lions Club and served fourteen years on the Caruthers Elementary School Board. Melva has always been extremely supportive of her husband, kids and grandkids. She was an active member of the Caruthers Women’s League and for many years served as a Cub Scout Den Mother.
Quoting Dan, “We are now in the autumn of our lives and we can look back and see that we have had a very interesting life together.”