Cover photo for L. James Rochovitz's Obituary
L. James Rochovitz Profile Photo

L. James Rochovitz

February 25, 1936 — June 3, 2021

L. James Rochovitz

Dr. L. James Rochovitz passed away peacefully at his home on June 3, 2021, at the age of 85 after spending the last few weeks sharing fond and adventurous memories with his much loved family. He endured a valiant battle with cancer.

Leon “Jim” was born during a South Dakota blizzard on February 25, 1936. He was the second child, and only son, of Leon and Hattie Rochovitz. His childhood and early school years were spent on the family farm in Hayti, South Dakota. This is where he learned the joy of gardening, soaking in hot sunny days and creating mischief.

He was married to Toivola Kangus in March of 1956 (later divorced) and supported his young family (children Rhonda and Becci), while attending and graduating from Pacific University in Oregon as an Optometrist. This was a profession that he pursued for the next fifty years. Jim was employed with Duling Optical in Minneapolis. During this time, three more children joined the family (Rhett, Radah and Bret). He moved his family to Mankato, Minnesota in the 1960s. During this time, he was a member of the Lions Club, was the State President of the Optometric Board of Minnesota and travelled to Mexico and Guatemala to volunteer with the VOSH organization.

Jim had a life-long curiosity and had an interest in many different areas. This included jet planes, antiques and history of all kinds. He was an avid reader and had a propensity to travel. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Anders on April 23, 2010 while traveling together in the Bahamas. During weekday mornings, once retired, often found him having coffee with his buddies at Panera.

Jim is survived by his wife, Betty; daughters, Rhonda (Mark) Taylor, Rebecca (Larry) Bateman and Radah (Tom) Peterson; and  son, Bret Rochovitz, all of Mankato; step-daughter, Sheila (Greg) Ous, Mankato; step-son, Matt (Stefanie) Anders, Boise, Idaho; 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Toivola, infant son, Rhett; grandson, Matthew Peterson; and his sister and brother-in law, Mary Ellen (Donald) Jorgenson.

An Open House informal Celebration of Life for Dr. L James “Jim” Rochovitz, will be held on Sunday, June 27, 2021 from 3:00 - 7:00 pm at Charley’s, 920 Madison Avenue, Mankato, MN. Memorials may be sent to St. Judes Hospital, BENCHS or Special Olympics.

Grief never ends….but it changes. It’s a journey and a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is simply the price of love.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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