September 6, 1937 ~ November 16, 2020
Gabriel Donald "Don" Rocha passed away November 16, 2020, at the age of 83 at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veteran's Home in Ogden, UT.
Don was born September 7, 1937, to Marie Zelma Botelho and Gabriel Joseph Rocha in San Jose, CA. He grew up in the Bay Area, graduating from Hayward High School in 1955. He was drafted into the US Army in 1961 when the Berlin Wall was built and tensions escalated in Eastern Europe, though he was never sent overseas. He met his sweetheart, Barbara "Kay" Mattson, on a blind date. They married while they were both serving in the Army; Don as a personnel specialist, and Kay as a dietician. Their orders took them both to Virginia. When Don was discharged, they returned to the Bay Area.
During their 53 years of marriage, Don and Kay moved several times for career opportunities in banking. As a teenager, Don started working as a delivery driver for Central Valley National Bank. He worked his way up through several levels of management before leaving to join Zions First National Bank in Utah. Later, Don held senior management positions with Wyoming National Bank, Norwest, and Wells Fargo. He and Kay resided in San Francisco, Livermore and San Ramon, CA; Sandy, UT; Casper, WY; Wayzata, MN; Albuquerque and Elephant Butte, NM; North Ogden, UT; Lake Havasu, AZ; and Pleasant View, UT.
Don loved driving, whether behind the wheel of a car or a boat. He was an impressive water skier in his younger years. He took his family on many memorable road trips to National Parks. He was a very tidy, organized person, which showed in how clean he kept his vehicles, garage, and yard.
Don spent many years as a caregiver to his wife Kay, who battled Multiple Sclerosis for 25 years before passing away in 2015, and his special needs son Peter.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay. He is survived by his son, Peter of Riverdale, UT; daughter, Wendy Kenney (Steve) of Pleasant View, UT; grandchildren, Ben Kenney (Haleigh) of Mesa, AZ, Meredith Hobbs (Brayden) of Lehi, UT, and Amanda Kenney of Pleasant View, UT; sister Diane Kleine (John) of Quincy, CA; sisters-in-law Sherry Mattson of Castro Valley, CA, and Gail Mulkey (Dennis) of Pollock Pines, CA.
Thank you to the staff at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veteran's Home for their devotion to Don for the past 7 years.
Don will be cremated. His remains will be placed in a cremation niche at a future date.