A life well lived … a woman well loved. Elma Barbara “Barb” Schlote Rokes, 87, a longtime Klamath Falls, Ore., resident, arrived at the end of her life’s journey and passed into eternal peace on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Pacifica Senior Living after a brief illness with lung cancer and after a long life well lived.
She was born near Winters in a Victorian Mansion that was built by her great-grandparents in 1865, on Oct. 16, 1928, to Louis Christolph Adolph Schlote and Elma Barbara Rice Schlote.
Barbara was raised on the family’s 8,000 acre ranch in Yolo County and went to a one room school house near Madison, until the sixth grade. She then went to Esparto High School for her freshman and sophomore years. Barbara moved with her parents to Fort Bragg, where she graduated from Fort Bragg High School in 1946.
After graduation she moved to San Francisco and started nurse’s training at Franklin Hospital until it was sold and dissolved.
In the fall of 1956 in Monterey, she went on a blind date with her future husband, Bill Rokes, and they were married on Jan. 5, 1957, in Carmel. The marriage was blessed with three children, Julie, Caroline and Matthew.
Her husband’s career took her and their family to different locations in California, including Monterey, Yreka and Happy Camp, finally settling into Oregon in 1970.
They owned and operated Rokes Security Patrol. In 1977, they sold their business and moved to Weaverville, where they had built a home on 40 acres. Barbara worked as the director of the Weaverville Art Center.
They moved to Patrick’s Point, and she worked at Eureka High School as the head cook for three years. In 1980, they moved back to Klamath Falls and she started her nine-year career in food management and worked for Kmart as its food manager.
She and Bill retired and started their eight years of RVing, traveling to Baja, Mexico, in the winter months and to British Columbia in the summer months.
Barbara was always active in her community and belonged to many organizations. She was also a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved to be outdoors, especially in her garden. Barbara always said it was in her DNA to have her hands in the dirt!
Barbara loved the holidays and decorating her home. She hosted many holiday meals for family and friends and loved entertaining. Barbara was a wonderful cook and there were always tantalizing aromas arising from her kitchen, whether the source was a pot of beans on the stove or cookies cooling on the counter. Barbara even wrote cooking tips that were published in the “Taste of Home Magazine.”
To the end of her days, Barbara never ceased loving unconditionally those who came into her life. By blood or by love, when she took you into her heart and home, she gave freely and loved beyond boundaries. Barbara never stopped smiling; she is a lasting gift to us all.
Barbara will be remembered and missed by her daughters, Julie Rokes of Klamath Falls and Carrie Rokes of Cottage Grove, Ore.; son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Debbie Rokes of Yreka; and grandchildren, Jackie Rokes, Derrick Rokes, Maddie Rokes, Christin Dickison, Stephanie Rokes and Darren Rokes; great-grandchildren, Wayne “JR” Rokes and Bailey and Blake Dickison; brother, John, and sister-in-law, Jo Schlote; dear friend and neighbor, Roberta Bolles; friend, Kim McGuire and her “acquired sons,” Michael Scollard and Gary Floyd; numerous friends, including those at Pacifica Senior Living; nieces, nephews and cousins; and her beloved cat, Gabby.
Barbara was preceded in death by Bill, her husband of 47 years; her parents, Louis and Elma; brothers, Stanley, Louis and David; and sisters, Ellaine and Anita.
Barbara said “Do not mourn for me and wear black at my memorial service, rejoice in my life, wear bright colors on this day for when I look down from heaven on this day, I want to see a field of bright colored flowers!”
A celebration of life and memorial service will be held for Barbara on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at 11 a.m. in O’Hair-Wards Funeral Chapel, 515 Pine St., Klamath Falls, Ore. 97601. Following the service, all are invited to a luncheon reception at the Ragland Cultural Center, 218 N. Seventh St., Klamath Falls, Ore.