We are absolutely heartbroken to announce the passing of Alvina Helen (Ellie) Rokosh, born on February 1 1936 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Ellie is survived by her son Randy, daughter Jeanne, granddaughter Laura, her sister Jane and brother Art, as well as many nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Bud Rokosh, parents, Jake and Betty Block, her sister Esther, brother Walt and daughter in law, Esther. We also hope that if there is a great beyond, she will be able to meet up with her niece Tracey, nephew Robert, Gramma and Grandpa Rokosh, Auntie Bonnie, Auntie Beryle, Uncle Bob, Dottie, Auntie Olive, Auntie Joan, Jakie, and all those people whom she loved and whom she missed.
Mom described her childhood as having lived in many places. However, she said where she finally felt at home was in Sicamous. She came here as a young teenager and never left. She often described how she lived in a room and board situation, while working at the old CP Hotel. She said she worked there when the Queen came through. Although she didn’t meet her, she very much enjoyed this big event. She also graduated from Grade 11, which at that time was a great accomplishment. However she wasn’t done. She went back to school and wanted to graduate from Grade 12, which she did. Once she began to create roots in Sicamous she met a young man from Solsqua, named Bud Rokosh. While we never heard all of the details, we are confident when we say, they shared a love of baseball, beer and engaged in a whole lot of shenanigans, while dating. They married on April 27, 1957 in Sicamous. They bought an acre of land from Uncle Matt Johnson and built their first house in Solsqua, “up on the hill”. This house is where they raised their son and daughter, Randy and Jeanne. We know that a lot of music was played in that house as both Mom and Dad were musical. Mom naturally sang harmony better than most. However, when her daughter asked her is she could teach her how to do it, Mom said,” I don’t know, I just do it.” Mom had the opportunity to be a stay at home Mom until both of her children were in school. She often said she was very proud of that, and as her children, we are extremely grateful for that.
She enjoyed working for Murray Sim at Sims General Store and then for Allen Bell at Bells Family Store. She then decided to do a Teller Training course in Salmon Arm and following the successful completion of this course, she was hired as a Bank Teller. She worked for the Royal Bank in Sicamous until it closed and was then transferred to Salmon Arm where she retired. While Mom always had a dream of being an Elementary School Teacher , she enjoyed working in the bank, lunching with Bank Ladies Coffee Group, and felt she had created a successful career for herself. We feel safe in saying that together she and Dad accomplished all the goals they had set for themselves. We also know that they worked extremely hard their entire lives to achieve these goals and to support their children to learn to do the same.
Mom ended up in an extremely difficult health battle in the last 21 days of her life. However, she fought with her usual quiet grace and did not complain. While she was in extreme amounts of pain at some points, she pushed until she decided she could no longer fight, stating “enough is enough.”
Mom never liked the spotlight and as her family knows, she never wanted to have a party or celebrate anything that was about her…her birthday, anniversary. She just didn’t feel comfortable in large groups of people. In honor of this and her clearly stated wishes, there will be no service or visitation, which would not have been possible anyway, due to COVID Protocols.
If we decide to proceed with any type of event in her honor, it will be once we are free to gather, in a post COVID world. She very much understood the risk to her if she got COVID, and would not want anyone to gather or to take that risk.
There are not words to express the deep gratitude her children and family have for the health professionals at Shuswap Lake General Hospital, her family physician Dr. Bruegheum, Dr. Tsoy , Dr. S. Main, and the Sicamous Community Paramedics, Suzie Cameron and Cathy Crandlemire. While Mom was hospitalized, we experienced first hand, the ability of health professionals to provide her the utmost care, while at the same time waging an ongoing war against COVID 19. While visiting was extremely restricted, it didn’t take long, in the short time we had, to reaffirm that COVID is real and healthcare professionals are outstanding……a million thank you’s and deep gratitude to the healthcare teams in Emergency , the 2nd floor team, the ICU, the Palliative support on the 4th Floor, and the paramedics.
If you would like to send a donation in memory of mom please send to the Canadian Cancer Society, as that was the charity she loved most.
To send flowers to Alvina's family, please visit our floral store.