Rodrigo Guerra, Jr., loving father and husband, passed away after a three-year battle with lung cancer on October 30, 2022. He was 66.
Rod was a wonderful person and led a very interesting life. He was born on January 3, 1956, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was the oldest of three children. His family moved to Pasadena, California, when he was a young boy. He attended Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena, where he completed the 2nd and 3rd grades in the same year, and McKinley Junior High School. Rod was the president of his class in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
In 7th grade, Rod transferred to Polytechnic School in Pasadena on scholarship, as he was a gifted student and athlete. He was also a talented trumpeter and was invited to play in the All-City Honor Band and the All Southern California Junior High School Band. He was seriously injured while playing baseball, however, and he later suffered a life-threatening subarachnoid hemorrhage. He was hospitalized for 6 weeks, forced to remain prone and still, and then convalesced for 4 months. Despite this devastating injury, he recovered and completed the school year with honors. He was required, though, to give up playing the trumpet and all contact sports. But this did not deter Rod. He pivoted to other sports, including tennis, and in 8th grade he received the Outstanding Athlete award for middle school.
In 10th grade, Rod was named the national “Boy of the Year” by the Boys Clubs of America for his excellence in academics, athletics, music, community involvement, and citizenship. He traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive his award from Vice President Spiro Agnew, made several television appearances, and gave speeches across the country. He also received the Pasadena Committee for Scholarships to Mexican-Americans Award, won the Pasadena Tennis Championship in the boys 16 and under category for both singles and doubles in the same year, and earned MVP awards in both tennis and basketball. He graduated from Polytechnic School in 1974.
Rod attended Stanford University, receiving a B.A. in Human Biology in 1978. He played on the Stanford tennis team, which won the 1978 NCAA Division I Tennis Championship; he fondly remembered this as one of his proudest moments. He then earned a J.D. and MBA from UCLA in 1982. After graduation, Rod was an associate and then a partner in the Corporate Finance department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, until 2016, when he retired. For the past 5 years, Rod enjoyed being a member of the Board of Directors at CVB Financial Corp. He was also engaged in his community, serving on the Boards of Trustees of Polytechnic School and Descanso Gardens Guild, among others.
Rod is survived by his wife, Gina (LiMandri) Guerra; his three daughters, Natalie, Olivia, and Marisa Guerra; his brother, Larry Guerra; his sister and brother-in-law, Anna Maria Guerra and Scott Fairhurst; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Rodrigo Guerra, Sr., and his mother, Maria de los Angeles (Ximenez) Guerra. Rod was an extraordinary man, brilliant and kind, from humble roots that he never forgot. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.