A great similarity

Shared by Doris Ayyoub on February 10, 2014

As I watched the news coverage for Nelson Mandella's Memorial Service,  I was contiually struck with the realization that his later photos and those of Roho show a great amount of the same beauty.  They could easily have been Brother and Sister.  We know for sure that they are Kindred Spirits.  Happy Birthday, Roho! from all of the Ayyoub's.

Amazing Woman, Fantastic Mother

Shared by Toni Patillo on February 9, 2014

When I look at this photo of my mom, I think Regal, Graceful, Powerful, Warm, A Giver of Knowledge and Wisdom, An Educator, Very Wise, A Lover of Family and Culture! 

I am thinking of Roho as she would be 95 tomorrow the 9th of February.- I miss her tremendously, but I feel her spirit always.

Happy Birthday Mom, I love You!   

powerful woman

Shared by Trenita Bellard on July 27, 2012

I am the grand-daughter of Roho Patillo, I really did not spend a lot of time w/ her but know and kept in my heart very close. I often tell story's about my grandmother the prowerful one's i remembered!!!! She will alway's be my special legend and superior in my heart, Live on through your spirit and armor ours lifes LOVE U ALWAYS TRENITA PATILLO

Shared by Barbara Jetty on February 9, 2012

To those of you who don't know or may have forgotten, but Roho was and still my surrogate mother and friend. And to my mother and surrogate mother, I would like to wish you both a happy birthday anniversary.  My mother made her transistionn to Gods Kingdom before Roho.  But I know they are both watching over us now.  There isn't a day when I don't think about the two of you.

In case anyone out there didn't know, or maybe you have forgotten, my mother is Roho's twin sister Velma.  I miss and love you guys!

The Day We shared Ice Scream

Shared by Earl Martin on August 26, 2011

Remember this Roho,

Everybody was so dissappointed because we're eating Ice cream.

As we sat in the living room on that beautiful summer day chatting about this and that and In walked Toni and her Brother to see us enjoying some Ben and Jerry Chunky Monkey Ice.

Toni came in giving orders about how you should'nt be having Ice Cream,and your response was I only had tablespoonful. 

We laughed so hard together because she sounded like she was your mother. She scolded me for giving you the greatest tasting Ice Cream in anyone lifetime. Roho thanks forgiving me a memory I'll treasure for years to come. By the way you only 84ys. young.  

 Your Loving Son by God's ordain plan,

Earl Martin

what a courageous, inspirational and loving woman

Shared by Kimberly Stuart on August 24, 2011

Toni, thanks for sharing the pictures and stories of your mom. Having only seen  a glimpse of her when visiting you at your home after your surgery, I could tell she was something special. I can also tell by these photos, she had a gorgeous and wise spirit. What a remarkable woman! After reading about Roho Shinda, I feel as if I know her through you. I can see you in her. Your smile, confidence and wisdom. :)

May the memories you shared together last forever in you and your families heart. Thinking of you during this time of loss, and praying that you hold on to every precious memory, moment and pictures of the time you all shared on earth. Blessing to you and yours and Cheers to God giving us such an outstanding human! RIP- Queen Roho Shinda!!!

Kimberly Stuart

Shared by Merry Szymczak on August 23, 2011

What a beautiful memorial page for Roho, thanks Toni for setting this up! I've smiled and wept reading it and seeing the pictures. The music is perfect.

My sister, Heather neglected to mention that while Mom and Roho had these intense phone conversations (while we were bugging her for the phone) Betty had a broom handy that she would use to try and shoo us four girls away. Now that I've had kids, I can certainly understand the sentiment...especially being plugged into a three foot phone cord back in the day. 

My best memory of Roho is the two handmade dolls she gave me when my twins were born 23 years ago. I knew at the time, they were special and decided that the twins would not be playing with and/or ruining them. They are still sitting in my bedroom in the same perfect shape as the day that Roho presented them to me. 

I also appreciate that Thelma and Charles were there for my Mom in 1969 when her beloved husband, my Dad, Douglass drowned.

Rest in Peace, Roho. 



Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Robynn's baby shower

Shared by Karyn Tatum on August 23, 2011

Roho at Dr. Robynn Cox baby shower. Sorry that's the wrong date on the photo.

Velma, The Defender of Her Sister

Shared by Barbara Jetty on August 22, 2011

When Roho (Thelma) was about 9 years old, she had the misfortune to suffer a stroke.  When she tried to tell her mother that something was happening to her face, Mama didn't pay any attention at first.  When you have eleven children, somebody is always complaining about something.   Roho told Mama that her face was twisting.  It was then that Mama looked to see what she was talking about.  Mama took on the job of nursing her by continually massaging her face.  The distortion of her face slowly got better, but it did not go completely away. 

As children will do, they (school mates) teased her unmercifilly.  But her twin sister, Velma would fight any and all who dared tease her. 

Up till just before Velma passed away, she was still a fighter.  One night a male resident in the nursing home she was in sneaked into her room and was bothering her.  For some reason Velma slept with her hairbrush under her pillow.  The intruder soon found out that he had made a terrible mistake...She proceded to beat the tar out of him with...(what else) her hairbrush. ;o)


by Vincent Carver Gilliam, Ph.D.

Shared by Toni Patillo on August 22, 2011

To My Mother

Rest in sleep and peacefulness

My mother, mother my love.


By what stream

Did your dreams

Conceive of having me

My mother, mother my love?


Love inundates

On caring ground

My mother, mother my love.


Seeds germinate

Yielding pods with love

My mother, mother my love.


Then blossoms come

To fill your tree

My mother, mother my love;


With jasmine spilling

Into the air

My mother, mother my love.


Then petals fall

Back to the stream

My mother, mother my love—


The stream of love

For loving pairs

My mother, mother my love.


And there you lay

And may die this night

My mother, mother my love.


I will wear

Jasmine in my hair,

To smell your love


And to think of you

My mother, mother my love.


Rest in peace

And enjoy your sleep

My mother, mother my love.


Your love is here

Inside of me

My mother, mother my love.


Rest in God's peace and sleepfulness

My mother, mother my love.







From: Optics: The Mystical Poet’s Guide to the Science of Inner Sight

                                            by Vincent Carver Gilliam, Ph.D.


Surrogate Mother by Barbara Jetty

Shared by Toni Patillo on August 20, 2011

Roho Shinda (A.K.A., Thelma Patillo) in addition to being my mothers twin sister, was also my surrogate mother and one of my best friends. When my mother, Velma Hogans, preceded her in death in November of 2002, it was to her I would turn to when I had questions that my mother was not here to answer for me. It was to her that I turned to ask questions about my mother when I had no one else to ask especially after my mother was gone.

I can remember when I was a young child, my mother and I would walk to visit Roho and Fundi’s home for an evening of laughter, music and dancing. Yes, dancing, for it was Roho’s husband Fundi (A.K.A. Charles Patillo,) who taught me to dance. When I say dance, I mean he taught me to jitterbug. In fact, I spoke to Roho a few months ago about that and she agreed that he was an excellent dancer. She told me that Josie Johnson had also made that same comment. The one thing we both agreed to was that that was the one thing you missed about him most.

There were times when the family was together, and it didn’t take much to get everyone to start singing. It was usually gospel songs. Some of you may have forgotten that Roho had one of the most beautiful voices that God gave to anyone. She and her sisters, Ruby, Vivian, Freida, Grace, Elizabeth, and Velma were known as the Silver Tones. Their voices blended beautifully together. I remember seeing them in their black dresses with the Silver Notes pinned on their shoulders.

I guess you can say that the Silver Tones are back together again.

How many of you can remember the tiny house that the Patillos called home on West Haven. If you can imagine all the Westfields jammed into that little house singing, laughing, and dancing. That house was so small that I honestly think that you could totally fit it into the livingroom of the house on 35th street. ;o)

Many of you probably don’t remember the joke that Roho and Fundi would play at the family gatherings. They had a reel to reel recording machine. Before the family arrived at their home, they would hide the recorder somewhere in the room and if you were lucky enough to sit near the recorder, (without your knowledge,) you might find what you said being recorded. The recording was then played back near the end of the evening and surprisingly enough no one got mad and left to never return.  But you know something, everyone knew that they did this and to my knowledge, they never complained and they always came back.

When my mother and I moved to the apartment on Sycamore, and she and I would walk to their home, (this was BC..before cars.) If I went by myself, Vaughn had the painful duty of walking me back to Sycamore. ;o)

Also, I don’t think anybody remembers the baby sitter that Roho and Fundi had for Vaughn and Faye. I know that baby sitters in "those" days didn’t charge much, but who else had a baby sitter that worked for just a bowl of dog food...Remember Mack, the Irish Setter they had? Roho told me that he would not let Vaughn and Faye go out of the yard. And in Los Angeles there was Duke and Dutchess the Boxers.

Until a few short years ago, everytime you saw Roho, she had some type of needle in her hand...sewing needle, knitting needle, crochet hook. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Faye ever had a store bought dress. Her mother made all her clothes. She even made some for me. She even took up weaving. There is one picture of my mother and Roho that was taken in front of the house on 35th street with the two of them wearing identical outfits. Yes, Roho and my mother made them. And if I’m not mistaken, they made the hats they were wearing in that picture. They had taken a class in tailoring and made the suits.

I’ve mentioned several time about the house on 35th street, but I want to make one more comment about that street. I was married, and had four children when I found out that just about everyone on 35th street was related to us.  There were the Westfields, the Claridys, the Dixes, the Gilmores, the Browns, the Buchanans, and the Parkers, just to name a few.

I guess I could regale you with all kinds of stories about Roho and Fundi. Many of our family members have now gone on to family reunion in a better and loving place. But they will never be removed from our hearts.

I love you and miss you Roho

Barbara Jetty

Shared by Kay Davidson on August 20, 2011

I met Roho 45 years ago.   I was a divorced mother of five small children, and had very little exposure to the Black community, and to what was really going on in the world. All of the important things that I learned about life and the world, I learned from Roho.. She was well-read, and articulate, and ,in my opinion, one of the wisest people who ever existed. When something happened. I always consulted with her to get her "take" on things.  When we were unable to physically communicate, I still consulted with her, in my own mind, and will continue to do so. My  five kids and I participated  with he, and Fundi,r in  Civil Rights marches and in Vietnam War protests. There are no words to expresswhat a profound effect that she has had on my life. I was extremely privileged  to have her in my life, and to be her friend.

Shared by Heather Sparks on August 19, 2011

Roho was my mother's (Betty MacGregor) best friend for many, many years. My best memories are the two of them talking on the phone, sometimes 2-3 times a day for a minimum of an hour each time!   Of course this was to the dismay of 4 tweenage/teen-age girls I might add! Those were the days of 1 land-line (party-line), and of course, no cell phones or email! HA! We used to beg mom to just invite her over or go to her house so we could have the phone! Needless to say, we survived just fine!

I know my mother cherishes all those long conversations and she was so proud of the gentle but fearless leadership Roho and Fundi provided to our conservative community.  She taught my mother so many things, who in turn, taught her daughters many things....I know that I am a better person because of this.

May I offer sincerest condolences to her large family whom were so very lucky to have her on this earth all these many years.  Raise a glass....

Heather MacGregor Sparks 



My Shero

Shared by Donna L Kinsler on August 18, 2011
Gentle, benevolent, prudent,charming,loving,beautiful, cultural and divine. Blend them and you get Queen Mother Roho. Now there is not enough space for I can blend more to describe this dynamic woman. I am honored and blessed that I had the opportunity to connect and we had the most memorable moments. I so fondly remember sitting and listening with undivided attention about some of her fascinating journeys. When she walked it was always upright, graceful with feminine dignity. She knew herstory!!!! She was my buddy at the NAACP screenings and the dialog after the films is still etched in my mind. Thank you Toni and Trish for sharing your gem. The mighty matriarch is still in business, she just moved upstairs. Blessings and love Donna L. Kinsler

Remembering a Warrior Elder

Shared by Kamau Sadiki on August 17, 2011

Mama Roho, we affectionately called her, because she was our other Mother, Queen Mother, in the daily struggle to elevate our people back to greatness.  Her and Baba Fundi gave so much to the African Spirit and I'm absolutely sure that they are in each other's warm embrace again.  I'm constantly inspired by her selflessness, remembering the many labor day weekends at the African Village complex in Yakima where she opened her home and sacred space to the community to celebrate, to mourn, to in-gather, to dance, to create, to play, to explore the possibilities of her people becoming a wholesome free human being, again.  There is nothing but love for you, Mama Roho, as you make your transition from Elder to Ancestor.  We will remember you, your legacy of giving, love, and struggle.  Your work will not be in vain. 

Shared by Mary Jean Lord on August 17, 2011

Being your friend, Roho, was a roller-coaster ride--incredible highs, abysmal lows and never a dull moment. What a hornet's nest you stirred up in Yakima just being your wonderful self! The town couldn't understand how such an exotic creature, a proud, elegant, intelligent black woman, had come to live in a place like Yakima. 

In spite of everything Yakima threw at you, you and Fundi never stopped making good things happen--the Mayor's Committe on Human Rights, a state Human Relations Conference, bringing in name speakers like Louis Lomax and James Farmer, waging war against poverty, and, especially, establishing the Afro-American Players and the African Village. You were indefatigable. The John Birch Society's Yakima Eagle was sure you were part of a Communist conspiracy. And I remember you said, "If I thought Communists were responsible for everything they're given credit for, I'd sign up today."

We plotted and planned, and we marched for civil rights and demonstrated against the war.  We worked and played hard, and we always knew we were alive and our lives had meaning. Thank you, dear friend, for sharing a small, exciting part of your life with me.

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