Notice of Memorial/Celebration of
Life in Honour of
Rocky (Bernard) Rokstad
March 20, 1924 – February 16, 2015
Rocky was born in Tromso, Norway moving to the City of Vancouver, B.C. with his parents Halfdan and Anna at three years of age. His family later moved to property on Otter Road, Aldergrove where he attended school at the South Otter School. Rocky was born with music in his blood, at a young age he would visit neighbours and listened to music on the radio, returning home to practice playing the harmonica and later the accordion, he eventually played up to seven instruments. The band leader with his first professional musician’s job bought him a Hohner piano style accordion. Rocky was a proficient musician who developed his own unique accordion style, he later formed a band called Rocky’s Rhythm Ramblers. This band played for many of the numerous small hall dances in the Fraser Valley and later in communities throughout B.C. where he lived.
Rocky had an adventurous spirit. As a teenager he worked as a deckhand on a fishing trawler where he travelled from Vancouver to the QC Islands, he later tried his hand as a logger on Vancouver Island. He landed a job with the Boundary Commission surveying the International boundary between Canada and the US. He travelled to Alaska aboard the ocean liner SS Princess Louise, playing in the lounge along the way. His stint in Alaska was spent in Haines where he played in the local music hall.
Upon returning to Aldergrove, Rocky met the love of his life, Lillian, they married in 1948. Their 61 years together brought many life adventures in the Cariboo area of B.C. where most of their nine children were born. They made their way up the Fraser Canyon where Rocky worked as a construction worker building the railway tunnels. Once in the Cariboo, Rocky logged with horses and ran a small sawmill for many years until he began his career as a faller with BC Hydro survey department falling “right of way” on most major transmission lines in B.C. as well as constructing some of the hydro stations. When you look at seemingly impossible sites for transmission power lines Rocky has traversed most of them multiple times. Hydro re-located him to Smithers where his family lived for many years while Rocky continued to work around B.C.
Rocky was blessed with a long healthy life and clear mind, passing one month short of his 91st birthday. Predeceased by his wife Lillian, April 2010, Rocky is survived by his family Barb (Wilf), Gloria (Randy), Donna (Tom), Bernie (Jeanne), Vicky, Sherry (Rob), Colleen (Stubbs), Chuck (Lori) and Bonnie (Rick), 19 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Clinton Community Hall on April 4, 2015 at 2 p.m. followed by an afternoon gathering and later a Celebration of Life to include both live and recorded music as a fitting family tribute to Rocky in honor of his love of music. For further information please visit the Facebook event “Rocky’s Celebration of Life.”