Beverly Jean Rustad Rochelle, 85, was a loving wife, adoring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin and friend. She was a devoted mother who taught her children many important life lessons, including her conviction that everyone should take their place in the world and bloom where they are planted. But most important of all, she taught her children to be faithful servants of Christ.
Bev was born in Hallock, Minn., on July 26, 1935, to Emojean Elsie and Richard Norton Rustad. She was the oldest of five children. Bev met her future husband, Herbert Ray Rochelle, in Phoenix, Ariz., where she worked as a lab technician and attended college, and he was completing aircraft pilot training. They were married April 12, 1958. Their home grew as God gave them five children: Timothy, Jeffrey, Renee, Mia and Gia. Bev and Herb were charter members of Green Valley Presbyterian Church and they invested their time and talent in laying the foundation for the church’s future. They enjoyed and celebrated 38 beautiful years of marriage together until Herb’s untimely death in 1997.
Bev enjoyed life’s most precious moments, including entertaining and cooking for her family, extended family, friends, church family and even best friends of over 80 years! She loved living independently at 85 years old. She enjoyed cooking, swimming, traveling to over 20 countries around the world, reading, talking on the phone and even texting her grandchildren with many hysterical emojis. Yet Bev could find joy in something as simple and meaningful as watching hummingbirds from her patio window; but only if her entire house was cleaned. She was a hard worker and seldom stood still. When she finally would sit down at the end of the day, she loved watching her favorite TV show, “Judge Judy.”
Bev was 100 percent Scandinavian whom many would describe as a “Viking Strong” woman in every sense of the phrase. Bev led a courageous fight against a rare bone marrow disorder, classified as Myelodysplastic Syndrome, for many years. She fought with grace and dignity. Bev’s medical team of caring professionals adored her for her determination and a perseverance that enabled her to continue enjoying life for many years. She would not allow her diagnosis to stop her from taking the trip of a lifetime to her home countries of Norway and Sweden.
During her prolonged illness, Bev often reflected on her own career as a skilled laboratory/medical technician, sharing experiences with her team of health care providers in comments such as, “Let me give you a tip on how to draw my blood,” or “I used to count every cell in the microscope!” She frequently encouraged people to donate blood during a national shortage. She was a giving person, always looking for ways to make a difference; even in death, Bev donated her medicine to someone less fortunate who might not survive without it.
After Bev’s work in this world was complete, on the evening of July 15, 2021, surrounded by loved ones, she left this world to join her husband, Herb, in heaven.
Bev is survived by her children, Timothy, Jeffrey (Natacha), Renee (Corey), Mia and Gia; grandchildren, Nicholas, Kristen, Tessa, Bria, Cameron, Shay, Jake and Angelo; and great-grandchildren, Aiden, Ruby, Korbin and Hazel; many nephews and nieces; and her sister, Marita (Ronald) Hennum.
She was preceded by her parents; her husband, Herbert; and her siblings, Richard, Ruthie and Bobby.
Bev’s legacy lives on through the lessons she taught, the life she gave and the love she showed us. The Rochelle Family encourages Bev’s friends to donate blood in her memory at Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Green Valley Presbyterian Church Building Fund.