Rodney Silviano Sisneros

Sisneros Enlarge photo


Former Durango resident Rodney Silviano Sisneros died suddenly from complications of heart disease Monday, May 21, 2012, at his home, in Hilo, Hawaii. He was 59.

Known as “Rod,” he was born to Victoria and Charles Sisneros on July 13, 1952, in Durango. He graduated in 1970 from Durango High School, where his family said he was an outstanding athlete, particularly in football.

After graduation, Mr. Sisneros joined the Navy and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War. He served with the Helsuppron One Detachment Seven Squadron helicopter rescue team and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He made more than 90 jumps to rescue or retrieve downed pilots. In December 1972, he received an honorable discharge.

He married Sandra Aguilar of Durango, and the couple had two children, Paul and Keisha. The marriage later ended in divorce.

“He was never the same after Vietnam,” his brother Bill Sisneros said.

He married Denise Waller of Durango, and the couple had a daughter, Leighanna, before the marriage ended in divorce.

Mr. Sisneros was a sous chef, working in Santa Fe, Phoenix and Hilo. He was well known as a chef while working at the Biltmore Hotel, his family said, and was especially proud of and known for his key lime pie.

“Rod will be missed and remembered for his love of cooking and music,” his family said. “He loved playing the harmonica and guitar.”

In 2000, he married Deborah Letreta in Hawaii.

“Rod never met a stranger and greeted all with his beautiful smile and that mischievous twinkle in his eye,” his family said. “Our Rodney will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.”

Mr. Sisneros is survived by his wife of 12 years, Deborah Sisneros, of Hilo; daughters Leighanna Helton of Durango and Keisha Rodriguez of Houston; son, Paul Sisneros, of Hilo; mother, Victoria Sisneros-Rene, of Santa Fe; brothers Bill Sisneros and Franco Sisneros, both of Santa Fe; sisters Diann Sisneros-Arnold of Phoenix and Victoria Sisneros of Denver; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family members.

A service will be held at a later date.