Obituary for Cecil R. Rochester

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Cecil R. Rochester, 88, of Holmen passed away Thursday, December 27, 2018 at Bethany Riverside Nursing Facility. He was born in La Crosse County on January 25, 1930 to William and Marie (Barrett) Rochester. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951 through 1953 and was a lifetime member of the Holmen American Legion. On June 23, 1951 Cecil married Norene Pawlak and they celebrated 67 years of marriage.
Cecil grew up on the Northside of La Crosse, graduated from Logan High School. He was a year round avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, anything to do with the outdoors. He was a true Wisconsin sports fan enjoyed the Packers, Brewers, Badgers and the La Crosse Loggers. Cecil retired as a conductor from Burlington Northern Railroad after 44 years of service. He was an active parishioner at St Elizabeth, enjoyed his 'Santa Claus' duty for many years during holiday services. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Cecil is survived by his loving wife, Norene; eleven children, Cathryn Taylor of Brooklyn Park, MN, Carol (William) Bittner of Trempealeau, Celia (Brad) DeColon of North Bend, Joel (Kim) Rochester of Holmen, Cindy (Larry) Craig of Mindoro, SueAnn (Chris) Llewellyn of Creswell, OR, Jayne (Jay) Johnston and Janet Rochester both of Niantic, CT, Karin (Jeff) Helmers of Onalaska, Anna (Brian Shoichet) Rochester of Kentfield, CA, and Patricia (Tom) Stange of Sparta; twenty eight grandchildren; twenty three great grandchildren; a sister, Grace Bashaw of LaCrosse; and three brothers, Lester Rochester, Clarence Rochester, and Richard (Mary Lou) Rochester all of Onalaska.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Dorothy and Stella Rochester; and three brothers, Louis, John, and Robert Rochester.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 515 North Main Street, Holmen. The Reverend John Parr will officiate and Military Honors will immediately follow the service. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until time of service.
The Dickinson Family Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Freedom Honor Flight Program-La Crosse or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in honor of Cecil.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
The family of Cecil would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Bethany Riverside Nursing Home staff and Merit Center Winslow Street staff for their loving care, patience and understanding of his 'spicey Irish heritage', he is smiling down at each of you with that 'twinkle in his eyes'.