Marianne Rooks passed away on March 19th, 2021 after struggling with Lewy Body Dementia.

She was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on September 28, 1944, to Reverend John James and Ethel Rooks. As a Methodist minister’s daughter, she and her family moved all over the state of Florida. She was proud to be a native Floridian.

In 2007, she moved to Boone, NC to be closer to her oldest daughter, Kathy, and son-in-law Michael. In addition to living in Florida and North Carolina, Marianne lived in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Marianne was a graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa. When she was in her 40s, she returned to school and earned a Masters Degree in Education of the Deaf at the University of NC at Greensboro.

At age three, Marianne contracted the German measles, which severely damaged her hearing. This handicap did not stop her from using her brilliant mind to accomplish many things. She was always a curious individual who never stopped learning and questioning. Marianne listened to her beloved father we call “Poppie”, who always counseled her to “never, ever give up.” These words guided her life long struggle with a severe hearing impairment.

Marianne’s determination resulted in a diverse professional career. She worked as an elementary school teacher, a respiratory therapist, a speech therapist for deaf children, and an Independent Living Skills Specialist for handicapped adults.

Marianne loved teaching and learning and enjoyed many creative hobbies including sewing, quilting, stained glass, and scrapbooking. She absolutely loved spending time with her friends at The Quilt Shop in Boone, NC.

In her retirement, she taught stained glass classes at the Appalachian State University Craft Enrichment Center. Throughout her varied careers, Marianne enjoyed mentoring many young people.

Marianne is survived by her four children: Kathy Evans of Boone, NC (Michael Gniadek), Heidi Christensen of Deer Park, Washington, Jennifer Perry (Andrew Berg) of Citra, Florida, and John Mark Leitner (Katya) of Orlando, Florida. She is also survived by her older brother, Dr. Jim Rooks (Penny) of Tacoma, Washington. Marianne also cherished her three grandchildren: Hailey Perry, Madison Perry, and Mark Daniel Leitner, all of Florida.

In addition to her loving parents, John James and Ethel Rooks, Marianne was preceded in death by her faithful, licensed, hearing guide dog, Buddy Rooks. Over the years, Marianne, her four children, and Buddy created many happy memories while spending time with “Grammie and Poppie” at their home in Lake Junaluska, NC.

In her final stages of dementia, Marianne asked many times when “Grammie and Poppie” were coming to pick her up. Although we are saddened to lose her, we are grateful to Grammie and Poppie and Buddy for calling her home.

Marianne spent the last year and seven months of her life in the care of Cranberry House in Newland, NC. The family would like to thank all the employees of Cranberry House, Medi-Home Hospice of Newland, NC, and the Western Watauga Senior Center in Sugar Grove, NC. Also, thank you to the kind and patient drivers of the Appal-Cart for transporting Marianne to and from the Senior Center.

If desired, memorials may be made to any of the fore mentioned organizations. A gathering to fellowship and remember Marianne Rooks will be held sometime in June at the home of her daughter, Kathy Evans, and son-in-law Michael Gniadek on Junaluska Road in Boone, NC

Hampton Funeral and Cremation service is serving the Rooks family

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