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Community honors fallen DPW worker during city hall vigil

Posted: 9:47 PM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-15 23:34:36-05
Vigil for DPW worker Bryan Rodriguez, shown with red motorcycle, Friday

The unexpected death of Milwaukee public works employee Bryan Rodriguez brought dozens of family, friends, and colleagues to City Hall for a vigil.

"When it's sudden like this there's no way to prepare for it," said Frank, Rodriguez's son-in-law.

There were hugs and tears and people remembered the 54-year-old killed in a hit-and-run. Rodriguez was filling a pothole near 17th and Vine when he was hit by a car.

"The city family is hurting as well. We appreciate everything he has done for us and the people who didn't know him, the people whose ride to work he made better. The people that he cared about even though they didn't know who he was " said Mayor Tom Barrett.

That said, Rodriguez's family wants people to know that he was more than a DPW worker.

"Paula Rodriguez and family ask that Bryan not be remembered as the DPW worker that was killed while doing his job, but be remembered for his smiles, his laughter, being a loving husband, father, a family man...and a man who loved to be on his Harley, have barbecues with his family and friends, drink some beers and create new and everlasting memories," said Frank.

Rodriguez's wife and two sons were among the many mourning his death and not losing sight that he was the second city worker killed in a matter of days following Officer Matthew Rittner. Through a spokesperson the Rodriguez family offered their condolences to Rittner's loved ones.

As Rodriguez's family prepares for his funeral they are urging the driver who hit him to come forward.

"There's been no talk of hate. There's been no talk of that whatsoever. The biggest thing is just turn yourself in. Do it the right way," said Frank.

The family spokesperson said they are grateful for the outpouring of support.

The sculpture outside City Hall was lit up with the color yellow to honor Rodriguez and how he served the city with the Department of Public Works.