Mary Lou Rocha obituary
Mary Lou (Rothgarn) Rocha, age 84, of Durham, N.C. passed away on Friday, January 13, 2023, surrounded by family.
She was born June 23, 1938 to Goldie (Fuller) and Irvin Rothgarn in Lake City, Minn. She graduated from Lake City Lincoln High School in 1956. She was crowned homecoming queen in her senior year. She still has many close friends from her school years in Lake City.
After High School she married Dave Severson and they moved to Minneapolis, Minn. She was employed by Northwest National Life Insurance Company and Cargill for a number of years. Together they had three children and moved to California in September 1963. They later divorced.
Mary Lou worked at various hospitals in the area in the business office and in administration. In 2002 she retired from St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.
She met the love of her life, Vincent (Jimmie) Rocha in 1990. Both were active members of the Torrance California Elks Lodge. She served as president of the Torrance Ladies of the Elk 1989-1990. She also served as Exalted Ruler of the Torrance Elks from 2006-2009.
Jimmie and Mary Lou were married November 23, 1991. They loved traveling around the country and the world together. The two also enjoyed their condo in Laughlin, Nev. She loved her family and delighted in spending time with them, especially their Christmas Eve parties.
Mary Lou battled a terrible lung disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. She was placed on the transplant list and on July 3, 2012 she received a new right lung at Duke Medical in Durham, N.C. Eventually, Jimmie and Mary Lou made their home in Durham.
Mary Lou is survived by a sister June Liljevall of Lake City; a daughter Dawn (Gary Cheever) Severson-Root of Garden Grove, Calif.; a son Todd (Marie) Severson of Lake City, daughter-in-law Sami Glover-Severson of Oak View, Calif., stepdaughter Carol (Mike) Rocha-Mills of Mansfield, Texas and stepson Charles Rocha of Ukraine. Grandchildren: Alison Harkins-Kusek, Justin (Ashley) Harkins, Ashley (Jason) Meadows, Brittany (Adam) Mills-Dalke, Matthew (Elizabeth) Mills and Jennifer (Tim) Mills-Hite, Great-Grandchildren: Charlie, Annamarie, Hayley, Brody, Breckin, Peyton, Bryson, Micah, Abigail, Noah and Ransom. Plus many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her parents, eight siblings, her husband Vincent (Jimmie) Rocha and her son, Troy Severson.
Internment is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, Calif.
Her children are planning a Celebration of Life for Mary Lou, June 10, 2023 in Lake City, Minn. Details will be forthcoming.