ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Don L. Rooks, Ph.D, 70 years old, born on November 14, 1939, and passed away on November 1, 2010. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Lora Rooks on November 1, 2018
8 Years. I can hardly believe it has been 8 years since I heard your voice. I seem to still hear you everyday in my head and heart. I am so grateful for that.
There is a dangerous tendency I have to idealize people and situations unrealistically. As time passes, it is easier to do this with those who have passed away, including you.
In self-correcting this tendency, I am grateful for what you taught me, even if the way I learned it was less than ideal. There are no perfect people. You were not, and I am not.
But imperfect people can still love well, and should still be loved. In spite of their flaws, or maybe due to them.
I know you loved me, Dad. You did not do it perfectly, but you did it fiercely. The tears that still come as I type this, 8 years later, are proof of that.
8 years is such a long, and yet a short time. So much has happened in and to me since you’ve been gone. I often wonder what you would tell me about what currently challenges me.
The main comfort I derive, from what I think you would say, is that you believe in me more than I believe in myself. Possibly more than you believed in yourself.
It is that confidence, in part, that makes me want to keep going, even if I have to go alone. Your input in my life reminds me that I matter, even when my ideal isn’t realized.
Thank you for valuing me even when I struggled to see it your way.
I love you.
Lori
Posted by li yuannian on October 31, 2015
愿逝者安息,生者如斯!
Posted by Gerre Arnold on November 3, 2014
Rest in peace, little brother.
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 1, 2014
A lot has happened this year. Many times I wished for your input or advice. Because of your love, years of sharing and my experiences with you, I somehow still knew and continue to know you are with me.
Posted by Lora Rooks on June 15, 2014
Happy Father's Day, Dad! I love you. Staying alert and remembering I don't have to answer the phone just because it rings--because I don't owe everyone an explanation for everything :)
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 1, 2013
This day, 3 years ago the family gathered in dad's hospice room. Nurses told us though he couldn't speak he could likely hear us as the sense of hearing is the last to go. I distinctly remember telling him "It's okay for you to go, we will miss you, but we will be okay." We do miss you, Dad and somehow thrive rather than just survive. Thank you for the example of love you left behind.
Posted by Lora Rooks on June 16, 2013
Happy Father's Day from China! I love you, Dad!!
Posted by Maureen Rooks on November 14, 2012
Thinking of you today, your birthday, and remembering all you did to make each of us better people. You have been missed and will always be in our hearts. Thinking of you in His loving arms. Ren
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 1, 2012
Dad, as I walk through the highs and lows of life as they come, I know your love and wisdom goes with me. You would be happy to see my life changing for the better today, and although you are gone, the memory of your constant encouragement and occassional tough and blunt approach has pushed me to do the right thing, even when it is the hard thing. Together, we can make it. xoxo
Posted by Maureen Rooks on November 1, 2012
Honoring your memory. You have been missed and will always be in our hearts.
Posted by Lora Rooks on June 18, 2012
I love you, Daddifer!
Posted by Maureen Rooks on June 17, 2012
On Father's Day, as every day, you remain in our hearts. Your
legacy remains strong, as Lori prepares to go to China, Jenn makes
a difference in helping others and Donnie is promoted and effective as
a Navy officer. I know you are proud, as I am. Miss you
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 14, 2011
Remembering Dad on his Birthday. Love you Dad!
Posted by Leanna Willis on November 3, 2011
I wish I had a chance to know Don better. I know him through his children. Don's children are awesome adults who are his legacy of the man he was.

Lori, Jen, Donnie, Rennie, I love you all & think about you often. You are in my prayers.
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 1, 2011
Dad had the ability to deal with pain with grace. After Dad passed, I found a book he had been reading, "90 Minutes in Heaven" which he had marked & highlighted everywhere. Reading that, I could see how he approached his pain in a way that would make it easiest on us. Dad allowed us to help him so that we would'nt feel so helpless, even while his fate hung over us all. Love & Gratitude
Posted by Maureen Rooks on November 1, 2011
It is difficult to say, in words, how much we have missed you.
Mostly the things you taught, knowing you would be leaving, are
held close to heart; i.e., "staying alert", adding closure, communicating in specific ways, your hospitality and love for animals. You were loving us all by teaching.
Posted by Lora Rooks on November 1, 2011
I love you, Daddifer. You are still very missed. I know you are having a great time with Jesus and Grandma. You are probably fixing His chariot right now. Tell them I said hello. I'll be there soon.

Love #1,
Posted by Maureen Rooks on November 1, 2011
A year has passed and you remain in our hearts by the unique and caring way you spoke into each of our lives. You would be so proud
of Lori, Jenn and Donnie. They have honored you by doing their best
to remember what significant things you took time and love to teach them. They honor you with who they are. Ren
Posted by Jenn Rooks on June 17, 2011
Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you.
Posted by riffle lorentz on November 18, 2010
I, am sorry I took so long to get to this as i do not get on my p/c everyday like I should, really enjoyed the fun times and all the stories, all the airplane stories, in the navion, i probably am limited to space, he was special to me his shirt-tail rel from kansas, Foreever, Riffle Cuffy Lorentz,
Posted by Judy Downs on November 17, 2010
Don's wit, wisdom and caring spirit will be missed by all who loved him. I remember him by his willingness to serve up a meal for all who visited him. His children's lives are a tribute to him. I am so thankful I was a small part of his life.
Posted by Lora Rooks on November 16, 2010
From Helen Heiden:

The Rooks and Heiden families have been friends for 53 years. We watched as Don grew to be a fine young man,learn to fly, join the service, get married and become a wonderful father. He was always there for his Mother when she was ill. He was a gentle man and a gentleman. He will be missed!
Posted by Pam Canale on November 12, 2010
Lora and Donnie,
Although I didn't know your father, he and your mother must have done a great job for the two of you to turn out so good. I'll be thinking of you both through this difficult time. You and your mom will be in my prayers.
Posted by Jenn Rooks on November 8, 2010
"Daddifer D" I know you will always be in my heart. With every kind word you said to me, with every thoughtful discipline, with every remembrance of you laughing ridiculously hard or allowing your big, sensitive heart to show through your tears, I will remember you with love. You were like a dad and a grandfather all rolled into one. I wouldn't trade having you as my dad for anything. Love ya!
Posted by Judy Mongello on November 7, 2010
Judy (Higgins) Mongello
This was a family that meant so much to my early life. A great family! I had not seen Don in many years but he would call from time-to-time and we always found something to laugh about. Wonderful memories are mine...memories of good times with the Rooks'. Their parents raised 2 wonderful men and I feel privileged to have loved them both.
Posted by Michelle Byers on November 7, 2010
I'm so grateful that I was able to spend so much time with Don these last 6 months. He made me laugh every day. He was such a caring and sensitive man. I see those qualities as well as his sense of humor every day in Donnie and I know he was a great man to raise such an amazing son.
Posted by Lora Rooks on November 6, 2010
Dad, I love you. I miss you so much. Each time I run up against a problem, I want to ask your advice and can't. However, I hear your voice in my head, "Stay alert." "Don't take yourself so seriously." "There are an INFINITE number of degrees to turn the steering wheel, don't jerk it like that." "Millions of people have done that. You can, too." See, I was listening. <3
Posted by Cyndee Head on November 6, 2010
Although I only met Dr. Rooks a couple of times, I know he was an incredible man. His daughter, Lora, couldn't have the wonderful characteristics she has unless she had a wonderful role model. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Love you lots, Ed and Cyndee
Posted by Pamela Lorentz on November 5, 2010
Although we never got to spend much time togather as family, I always thought alot about Don and his love of flying. So sorry for your loss.
Mike and Pamela
Posted by Gerre Arnold on November 5, 2010
"Little Brother", I treasure our good times, sad times, in between times. You'll be missed.
"Big Sister" Gerre
Posted by Diane England (Curry) on November 5, 2010
I had not seen Don since high school but always thought good thoughts of him. He was so much fun on all our good old band trips. And was always so protective of his sister Gerre. I'm sure he was a wonderful father, and will be greatly missed. God bless your family.
Posted by Maureen Rooks on November 5, 2010
If the measure of a man's life is the character and strength it produces in the lives of others, Don's life will count in multiple ways. 

The jewels in his crown are his children. The impact and wisdom they have, and will have as they touch others, is already astonishing.

I know he knew God's love and provision carried us through and that gave him peace.

He lives in our hearts forever.
Posted by Donnie Rooks on November 5, 2010
My best friend, coach, and pops. I miss you and will see you on the other side. I thank you and mom for providing me with the necessary skills to live a successful life; a gift no one can ever take from me. Your lessons and wisdom will be with me forever. I promise to use your namesake with honor, courage, and commitment. I love you. God bless.
Posted by Mark Willis on November 4, 2010
Was a nice man who raised 3 awesome children.
Posted by Fred and Vicki Lorentz on November 4, 2010
Vicki and I visited Don's mother earlier this year and then returned for her funeral. On both occasions Don, even though he didn't feel well and was in fact hospitalized at the time of his mother's funeral, entertained us with so many stories and boy, could he still laugh and tell those stories. We will treasure the miniature branding irons he made for us. I wish we could have had more time.
Posted by Leanna Willis on November 4, 2010
I did not know Don well, but I know his children. No man can have such amazing children without being an amazing person.
Posted by Ron Rainey on November 4, 2010
Don was always a friend and fun to be with - he will be missed.
Posted by Kathleen Eitel on November 4, 2010
Don warmed a room with his wit, wisdom and wonderful smile, even while he struggled to breathe. His love offering was usually food, served with an overflowing helping of insight and reality therapy. He was an intense, profound, and undeniably impactful man and I will miss him until we meet again.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Lora Rooks on November 1, 2018
8 Years. I can hardly believe it has been 8 years since I heard your voice. I seem to still hear you everyday in my head and heart. I am so grateful for that.
There is a dangerous tendency I have to idealize people and situations unrealistically. As time passes, it is easier to do this with those who have passed away, including you.
In self-correcting this tendency, I am grateful for what you taught me, even if the way I learned it was less than ideal. There are no perfect people. You were not, and I am not.
But imperfect people can still love well, and should still be loved. In spite of their flaws, or maybe due to them.
I know you loved me, Dad. You did not do it perfectly, but you did it fiercely. The tears that still come as I type this, 8 years later, are proof of that.
8 years is such a long, and yet a short time. So much has happened in and to me since you’ve been gone. I often wonder what you would tell me about what currently challenges me.
The main comfort I derive, from what I think you would say, is that you believe in me more than I believe in myself. Possibly more than you believed in yourself.
It is that confidence, in part, that makes me want to keep going, even if I have to go alone. Your input in my life reminds me that I matter, even when my ideal isn’t realized.
Thank you for valuing me even when I struggled to see it your way.
I love you.
Lori
Posted by li yuannian on October 31, 2015
愿逝者安息,生者如斯!
Posted by Gerre Arnold on November 3, 2014
Rest in peace, little brother.
Recent stories

Doing Fine

Shared by Lori Rooks on October 26, 2012

It isn't quite the date that mark's Dad's passing, a few days to go. Still, I have been thinking about it's approach all week.

Sitting here in China, successfully reaching a life-long dream, I often wonder what Dad would think about my being here. I know he would be proud, and I am sure a tiny bit anxious for my safety.  Last time I was in Beijing in 2004, I heard from my Dad by phone more than any other person back home. That was very unusual up until that point; I didn't have a very deep relationship with him back then. He sent me packages, pictures, and tracked the global time difference.  You'd think I was gone for a decade--back then it was only 6 weeks I was away.

I know that the resiliency I have obtained in my life is in great part because of my Father.  I really couldn't have the nerve or the ability to survive and even thrive this far out of my culture if it wasn't for his influence.  I often hear his voice in my head, "Lori,  thousands of people have ___________, and you much smarter than many of them.  If they can do it, so can you."

I was practicing for an exam with a student named Isaac.  This student is older than most--has already attempted this test required for graduation and missed the mark twice.  I am tutoring him for no other reason than to show him the love of God.  He seems grateful.

As a ways to model (important for teaching--learned that  from Dad, too), I demonstrated a response to the verbal part of the test before I had Isaac give it a try.  "Talk about a person who taught you something..."  It was Dad who immediately came to mind.  I had not problem filling the whole two minutes with vivid details about him showing me how to drive.  Not only did I learn that skill, but I also learned to teach from how well my Dad explained the inner workings of many things--cars, guns, cooking, animals, people.  

It wasn't until I was finished with my little speech that I got tears in my eyes.

Thank you, Dad.  You are a great person and I am a good teacher largely because of you.  I still wish I could talk with you about all that I am experiencing, but I take comfort in knowing  that you see all I am going through.  

I know you would say something like, "If they read a little bit eveyday, and write a little bit everyday, they will do fine."

And you are right, I am doing just fine.

 

Father's Day

Shared by Jenn Rooks on June 17, 2011

It's almost Father's Day, and I have been thinking about you Dad.  People are right when they say grief comes in waves.  I go about my life with the pace and activity it requires of me, and sometimes I have to stop myself and take note of how ordinary everything seems....  And I feel a little strangely about that.

But then it will really hit me that you are gone, and that pain is no longer dull, but very real and raw... and yet, sometimes almost as quickly as it came, the pain subsides.  I think it's knowing that you are out of that awful pain, and that you are at eternal peace, and that you will always be with me through the love and time you shared.

Remembering you fondly on this, our first Father's Day, without you.  You are dearly missed.

Christmas Past

Shared by Jenn Rooks on December 14, 2010

We are all really missing dad at Christmas time.  I remember he made Christmas especially wonderful over the last ten years.  Recently, he seemed to have more of a hand in the decision making rather than relying on his chief elf (Mom) as he did in the past.

I'll never forget getting a Christmas card from dad a couple of years ago.  It had Santa Claus dessed as a cowboy, feeding a baby sheep with a bottle.  It looked a lot like dad, and anyone who knew him well knew he loved animals and they loved him.  It captured the generosity and gentleness that we all so miss about him.

Another recent year, he bought me three gifts:  the first a folgers can full of quarters, the second a jar of pickled artichokes and the last a beautiful diamond necklace....  He was so funny and never took himself too seriously while still being so very thoughtful.

Weeks ago, I found one of the very first gifts dad got me as a child.  It was a decorative plate with cartoon cats positioned in the shape of a Christmas tree.  Although at the time of it's giving, I didn't think it was quite my style... I completely treasure it now and am glad I kept it all these years (okay, so Mom kept it for me... but still) : ^ )

Dad, I miss you so very much this time of year.  I so wish you didn't have to go.  But I can just picture you now in heaven, happy joyous and free.  Free from pain, thank God for that, and yet somehow I still picture you up there tinkering about, improving upon things, sharing heavenly meals with others, and attracting the attention of every animal in sight.  I know, my mind can't even grasp how free you are from the dealings of this world... yet somehow I know your spirit still must enbody the thoughtful, helpful, friendly qualities that I miss.

Love you always and forever.  You will be missed all of my days.