Genevieve Terese Lepeska Rockwood, 91

Genevieve Terese Lepeska Rockwood died October 12 in Plano, TX. She was born February 22, 1928, in Lonsdale, MN, to Ludmilla (Schoenbauer) and John Lepeska. Genevieve “Gen” and her two brothers were raised by their maternal grandparents (Wenceslaus and Rose Schoenbauer) in New Prague, MN, following the death of their mother in 1934.

Her grandparents didn’t believe education was important for a girl, but Gen was a brilliant student and a very hard worker. With support from a local dentist who employed her over the summer, she applied and was accepted at the College of St. Scholastica. So, at 17, without ever having seen the school, she boarded a bus and headed to Duluth. Gen worked summers as a waitress in White Bear Lake, was careful with her money and paid her own way through college. The nuns were very considerate, realizing what a determined student she was. They allowed her to “get behind” on her tuition. Gen was the first woman in her family to graduate college; she did so in 1949.

She met the love of her life at the Jolly Fisher Restaurant in Duluth. When Gen got engaged, she refused to set a wedding date until she’d paid off her tuition debt to the nuns. She never forgot the generosity and support she received from St. Scholastica.

Gen married Bob Rockwood on June 24, 1950. They lived in a few different towns for the first decade of marriage, but then settled in Duluth where they raised 8 children. Gen was an educator for ISD 709. She had a varied career, working with students with special needs. She retired from Duluth VoTech in 1986 as the Special Needs Coordinator for that facility.

Gen and Bob enjoyed lake life at their family cabin in Barnes, WI, for more than 15 years. Many happy family memories were made there and it forever held a special place in her heart. Retirement took them to Florida, Georgia and then back to Minnesota (Lakeville).

Gen was a proud mother and bragged about her children whenever given the opportunity. Her grandchildren brought her even more happiness and she adored spoiling them and then sending them back home to their parents.

Those left to honor Gen's memory include her eight children, Tom (Gwen) Rockwood, Kelly (Rob) Lynch, Rebecca (Steve) Dickerson, Patti Bachtel (Tony Perry), Lenore Broadley, Lisa (Greg) Reichelt, Mike (Yvonne) Rockwood and John (Joanne) Rockwood; twenty-two grandchildren and their 14 spouses; 28 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Marilyn Lepeska, and 8 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Bob, infant son, David, brothers Will Lepeska and Jack Lepeska, and sister-in-law Ann Rockwood.

A funeral Mass will take place at 11:30 a.m. with visitation starting at 10:30 a.m., Friday, December 6 at All Saints Catholic Church, 19795 Holyoke Avenue, Lakeville, MN.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Genevieve Lepeska Rockwood '49 scholarship fund at the College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood Avenue, Duluth, MN  55811.

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