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George S. Rokkan
05/31/1948 — 05/02/1991
From Richland, WA | Born in Washington State
George S. Rokkan
George S. Rokkan has found the peace and rest he longed for. Born May 31, 1948, he departed this life on May 2, 1991. George was the deeply loved and treasured son of Bill and Ellen Rokkan, of Richland. His younger brother, Don Rokkan, also lives in Richland. An older sister, Jan, born in 1945, graced her family but for 7 days. George’s nieces, Keila and Lainey Rokkan, of Seattle, were his heart’s bright and precious jewels.
George spent almost all of his life in Richland, where he was born, attended public schools, and made his final home. In 1971, he earned a degree in architecture, with distinction, from Washington State University. Following college, George began what was to become a career in the nuclear field. As a project engineer, he devoted the past 17 years to the Department of Energy, and before that served with Vitro, United Engineers, Bums and Roe, and I.A. Jones. He excelled at and relished managing large construction projects, receiving upon their completion a purposeful sense of achievement – his favorite reward. On his own time, he was a volunteer Benton County Deputy Sheriff, managed and played on softball teams, assisted with youth football programs, collected antique tools, pampered his pet Schnauzers, and went skiing as often as he could, being skilled on water and on snow.
George was uniquely complex. Even though illness cruelly depleted him at times, in his job he still exuded the reputation of one who tolerated no artificiality or catering to political ambition or wastefulness or shirking from supporting what he felt were the best solutions to problems, regardless of who might object to his candor. By no means, however, did his tough professional image define him completely. George was an exceptionally private person, and only a fortunate few ever glimpsed his truest heart and inner thoughts. Those who did viewed a man of unsurpassed generosity, loyalty, sensitivity, and desire to love and to be loved. Because he possessed these virtues in abundance, he anguished over the evident paucity of them in our world, struggling to comprehend fully the greater design that intelligently might have need of this condition. He earnestly hoped for a just explanation to our travails and his, one that would unfailingly heal all hurt and give freely unending joy. Perhaps, now, his hope is realized. We will always love you and be proud of you and benefit by your life that is inextricably blended with ours. And we will miss you terribly until we are with you again, dearest son and brother and uncle and friend.