Les Rohacek, 71, of Bothell, passed away on December 29, 2017. Les was born in Pennsylvania, lived in Florida for a time, then back to Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in Art History from Millersville State College. One of his great memories was working at a snack bar during the 1964 New York World’s Fair when he was just 18 years old.
For Les, work was something he did to put food on the table, but art was his passion. During college and after, he had an interesting collection of jobs that included working as a clothes salesman, a social director at a resort, a sod installer, a battery salesman, a taxi driver, and an art teacher.
He headed west in 1975 and spent the next few years living in Salem, Spokane, Everett and, finally, in Bothell. The incredible scenery of the Pacific Northwest proved inspirational to his artistic nature. Working with oils, he created amazing paintings that he displayed at art shows for many years.
Heart surgery in 1987 only slowed Les down temporarily. He continued to display his work at galleries and art shows in the late 80s and early 90s, while also working at a bookstore and moving furniture. When a close friend suffered a spinal cord injury in 1994, Les took on the role of caregiver, helping the young man recover after the injury and providing assistance for many years beyond.
In 1999, Les began working as a school assistant at Westhill Elementary, where he became known as “Mr. R” to all the students. He monitored the playground, supervised safety patrol, worked in the copy room, and taught art lessons during his 14 years at the school. He was a favorite of many students and much loved by the staff. He often said it was the best job he ever had.
Les will be remembered as someone who always brought a creative flavor to the things he did and was willing to help with whatever was needed. He touched the lives of many people along the way. He will be greatly missed.
A celebration of his life will be held in the Northshore Senior Center Dining Room, 10201 East Riverside Drive, Bothell, WA, 98011, on Saturday, February 24, from 2 to 4 pm.