Kraeer Funeral Home and Cremation Center

1199 Ne 36Th Street, Pompano Beach, FL


Vincent Armando Rodriguez

June 1, 1951November 9, 2019

For Vince

“To fly west, my friend, is a flight we all must take for a final check.”

Vincent Armando Rodriguez died on November 9, 2019, surrounded by his friends and family, but throughout his life there was rarely a place he could go where he didn’t have friends, many who became family. Vince, Vinny, Uncle Vinny, Papa Vinny, and Papa were the names he collected throughout a distinguished life that started in Cienfuegos, Cuba on June 1, 1951, where his parents, Connie and Armando Rodriguez, joyfully welcomed their second of three children. At the age of two, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Passaic, New Jersey. Vince spent his childhood playing with friends, attending local schools, and falling in love with all things mechanical, especially cars.

After graduating from Passaic High School, he attended the Newark College of Engineering (now the New Jersey Institute of Technology) where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and as an ROTC Distinguished Graduate. In 1973, Vince joined the United States Air Force, where he graduated pilot training with distinction and completed T-38 Instructor Training as the Top Graduate. He was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, and Williams Air Force Base in Arizona and rose to the rank of Captain.

In 1980, after serving his country, Vince became a commercial airline pilot with Eastern Airlines where he flew 727s and DC-9s. In 1990, Vince move to United Airlines where he flew 737s, 757s, and 767s before becoming an A320 Captain. Vince had a distinguished career at United, but he always said the best thing he got from it was his marriage to Arlene, a United flight attendant he met on one lucky flight. After 26 years at United and over 43 years flying, Vince retired in 2016 with over 20,000 flight hours.

After retirement, Vince enjoyed spending time with his wife and grandchildren, riding his motorcycle with friends on long trips throughout the country, and being around the many loved ones he accumulated throughout his life. He was a strong and confident person with an enormous heart who felt just as comfortable piloting jets and motorcycles as he did dancing with and having his hair done by his granddaughters. His home was always open to friends in need, be it for a few hours or months at a time. His generosity knew no bounds.

Vince’s life ended far too early when he succumbed to cancer. However, if the measure of a life is how many people remember you with love, Vince lived far beyond his years. In his last days, Vince’s home was flooded with a procession of family and friends from all over the country who wanted to say one last goodbye to a man who profoundly touched their lives. That procession could only be outdone by the countless others who sent their love and support to his family and friends from afar. This was an emotional and fitting goodbye to a man who gave so much love to the people in his life.

Vince is survived by his Mother, Concepcion; his Wife, Arlene; his daughter, Simchah (Seth); his granddaughters, Elaina and Shayna; his sisters, Gloria (Larry) and Diana; his nieces and nephews, Jennifer, John, Nicholas, Michael, and Kristy; and his Goddaughter, Maria. He was predeceased by his father, Armando.

A celebration of Vince’s life and his last flight west will be on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 9:30 am at the Ritz-Carlton, 1 North Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304. The family requests pilots attend in uniform. Instead of flowers, the family requests that you donate to a veteran’s charity in Vince’s name, such as the LCpl Janos V Lutz Live To Tell Foundation or Operation Sacred Trust. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia with military honors at a date and time to be determined.


  • Arlene Gemora, Spouse


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Vincent Armando Rodriguez

have a memory or condolence to add?

Julianna Scott

November 15, 2019

My dear Vince, I will cherish our friendship til we meet again. I remember flying with you when you started your career at Eastern Airlines. Who knew we would be flying together again at United. You were the most genuine, caring friend that I have known for over 40 years. A true gentlemen & officer. I will always cherish the times we had.
Hoy, mañana y siempre

bruce cushing

November 14, 2019


Sarah Noble, Manager/Funeral Director

November 14, 2019

We the Staff of Kraeer Sample Road Funeral Home would like to extend our most deepest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of your loved one. “Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal but love leaves memories that no one can steal.”

Elaine Welzel

November 13, 2019

My dear friend he will always be. A true gentleman. Until we meet again Captain ❤️

Miriam Castillo

November 13, 2019

New Vinnie from the hig school, he was special

glen miller

November 12, 2019

i graduated with vinnie. PHS class of 1969. i remember him being such a nice person. and had a lot of class. RIP my friend. you will be missed. peace.

Lourdes Lay

November 12, 2019

Vinnie I will always love you. I am so proud to have had you as my cousin. I remember growing up seeing pictures of you as a pilot. You inspired me to get a career in aviation. Love you always, you live in my heart. Love lives forever!

Andrea Witwer

November 12, 2019

My deepest condolences to Arlene. I can remember her face lighting up as she would talk about her soulmate. My thoughts and prayers for your entire family to have comfort, strength and peace.

Sherry Penland

November 12, 2019

Mex, my friend, what fun we had with you, Jim, and me at Moody. You and Jim always complaining how bad it was there, but we still had a good time. And who can forget Bubba’s parties.
We had lost track with each other for several years but finally hooked up again when you came to visit Jim in the hospital. Then we met each year since in Jupiter. We knew you had found your true love with Arlene when we met her. Great Gal.
We will miss you. Love, Sherry and Jim

Brenda Collinson

November 11, 2019

Vince, I will miss you my friend. I loved hearing all of the tales of your rides on your Harley. See you on the other side. 😢🙏❤️