Rodney “Rod” Louis Sartoris died at home in Gilroy, California on October 4th, 2019 at the age of 65 after a long battle with COPD.
Rod is survived by his daughter Brittany Flores (Sartoris) and her husband Marcus, grandson Zeke and granddaughter Kalia; siblings Mark and his wife Rose, twin sister Pam and her husband Randy, Nick and his wife Anna, Kenneth and his wife Claudette; many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and by his sister Christine Guzman (Sartoris).
Rod was born on November 29th, 1953 in San Jose, California to Louis Sartoris and Arvella Sartoris (Carstensen). He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1971, shortly after which he joined the U.S. Army. After serving in the Army, he began his career as a talented fleet, diesel, and heavy machine mechanic. He had a particular enthusiasm for taking old rusty machines and making them like new again. He was also passionate about motorcycles, especially Harleys, and classic cars. He owned and loved to work on a variety of muscle cars throughout his life.
In 1985 Rod and Toni LaDawn Snyder welcomed their daughter, Brittany, into the world. He was a proud father and would boast to anyone that would listen. Though his journey through life was marked with many struggles, his love for his daughter and family was unwavering and at times was his driving force to shoulder life’s storms.
Rod later moved to Coarsegold, California where he worked with his brother Mark as a heavy machine mechanic and auto body detailer. He inspired those around him with his willingness and ability to handle and excel at any job put before him, whether or not he had experience doing it. In 2009 he suffered a major stroke and moved to Gilroy, California to be closer to his daughter. It was there that he became a grandpa, one his life's biggest joys. He spent his time tinkering on bikes and refinishing classic toys for his grandkids. He had a generous heart and took great happiness in making bike chain chip holders for those in his AA fellowship. He was proud and eager to give these away to others in celebration of their own triumphs.
Rod was truly his happiest when he was utilizing his talents to help others. He will be remembered for his big, kind heart and a tenacious spirit. He left a permanent mark on the hearts of many and will be greatly missed.
A celebration of life is scheduled for 11am on Saturday October 19th, 2019 at Morgan Hill Bible Church, with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Rod’s life.
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