Imre Rokus
Imre Rokus

Obituary of Imre Peter Rokus

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It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Imre Peter Rokus early Friday morning September 15th, 2023.

Born July 27th, 1936 to Peter and Teréz in Nagybaracska, Hungary. Imre grew up on his parents farm. He went to boarding school at a young age in a neighbouring town and became a teacher as a young adult during the second World War. Wanting more opportunities, he escaped with a handful of friends during the 1956 uprising and ended up in an Italian refugee camp. After weighing their options, they decided to go to Canada and were delivered to Montreal where they were given five dollars and a pat on the back to get started.

They all worked hard at various jobs which enabled them to attend university. Imre worked picking fruit, dishwashing (at the Kelowna hospital), construction (working on the Kelowna bridge), at a sawmill and as a geologist. He loved academics and to say he was a scientist. He ultimately decided to make his career in dentistry. He attended UBC for over 10 years and graduated from the very first class of dentistry in 1968. He was married (Berna) and together they drove all around the East Kootenays while Imre worked for the government as a travelling dentist to treat all the school kids in underserved communities before settling in Cranbrook B.C. and having 2 children.

He practiced first at the Green Clinic and then at the Cranbrook Dental Center. He practiced 52 years. He worked as a volunteer for the Salvation Army providing dentistry. He felt it was important to give back to the community as Canada had given him a shot at good career and life. Retiring sooner than he wanted, he still continued attending his annual dentistry conventions because he loved what he did.

He had many friends and was part of the Gyro Club. He played a little guitar while singing along and would never fail to mention that he sang in the same key as Elvis Presley (also during family road trips while singing along with the radio). He liked to dance, give advice and tell stories (usually quite funny - often without trying to be). He had an easy nature about him and didn’t let the little things bother him. His is favourite things to do were to golf, ski, swim, go to the gym, be out at Moyie Lake, fish, water ski, sit by the fire, cook, BBQ, wine taste and have a beer after golf. In his later years he loved going for walks. The news, cowboy movies, black and white movies, musicals and golf were his favourite things to watch on T.V. and to also discuss said topic during (especially politics). He loved being around people and socializing was always effortless. If chores were taking too long he would say that they were “devastating his lifestyle”. If he was really impressed by something he would say “that’s significant”. Imre was a presence wherever he went and helped many people through his advice and work.

He is survived by his two children Lisa (Kevin) and Alexander (Naomi), his grandchild Heath and his many relatives in Hungary as well as in-laws and step family. Predeceased by his parents (Peter) and (Teréz), a grandchild (Ben) and a step grandchild (Jaden).

He was very proud of his accomplishments and family. Never-to-be-forgotten, especially by those closest to him. He will be missed forever. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to the Salvation Army. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

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