Kenneth R. Rocha, 91, died Wednesday, July 20.
He was born the oldest of eight children to Kenneth and Josephine Rocha. He was delivered by his grandmother on a remote dairy farm “somewhere near Gustine,” as stated on his birth certificate.
After he completed eighth grade, his father fell ill and died. He and his older brothers continued to work on the dairy while his mother raised goats to support the family. It was a simple, hard-working life but the family had fun with their own “goat rodeos,” family gatherings, dances, and occasional movies.
He met a girl named Arline Deniz at a dance and asked her to a movie. When her whole family showed up for the movie, he later said, “I asked her to marry me so I could get her alone.” He and Arline married June 14, 1941.
Mr. Rocha and his wife sold their dairy and moved to Hughson in 1966. He became a mill supervisor for A.L. Gilbert Co. in Oakdale and, after retirement, he was employed by Mid Valley Nut Co. in Hughson until he was nearly 90 years old.
He and his wife loved their family and friends, festas, playing cards, and traveling. He loved life and after his wife’s death in 1999, he was later married at 84 years of age to Evelyn Toste of Hughson. They continued to enjoy travel, family gatherings, and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; children, Marlene Shelburne, Kenneth L. Rocha; siblings, Joaquin Rocha, Jerome Rocha, Theodore Rocha; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; and many extended family, friends, godchildren, and coworkers.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Arline; his parents, Kenneth and Josephine; and siblings, Alex, Ernest, Josephine, and an infant sister.
A viewing and rosary were held July 26 at Whitehurst, Norton & Dias, Turlock. Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Fox and Euclid roads, Hughson. Burial will follow at Lakewood Cemetery, Hughson.
Remembrances may be made to Alexander Cohen Hospice House, 2201 Euclid Ave., Hughson, CA 95326; or to Children’s Guardian Fund, P.O. Box 2455, Oakdale, CA 95361.