John Raymond Rothrock

thumb2Our beloved Husband, Father, Grandpa, Son, Brother, and Friend, died suddenly and unexpectedly on January 30, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, one month after his 58th birthday, with his family at his side.


John was born Dec. 30, 1954 in Beaufort, South Carolina to Henrietta and Jack Rothrock. Growing up, he was a wonderful and giving son who always helped others, whether it be in church, school, Boy Scouts, or wherever he was needed.


John graduated from Kennedy High School in Barstow, California. He attended Barstow Community College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with an AS Degree in Computer Science. He served in the United States Navy  from 1975-1981, which included an assignment to the aircraft carrier USS Halsey as a Data Systems Tech, where he was also an instructor. He was Honorably Discharged as an E-6 with the Medal of Good Conduct, Expeditionary Medal, and Sea Service Medal.

After the Navy, he worked as an Engineer for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a contractor for almost 30 years under Bendix Engineering, Allied-Signal, Honeywell, and before moving to Washington, Mori Associates. During this time, he continued his love of learning by earning his BS in Optical Engineering, and his MBA in Technology Management. In 2009, John and his family left Southern California for cleaner air, lakes, and eagles in the Seattle, Washington area where he was a contractor for Microsoft.



John met the love of his life and true soul mate, Leslie, on December 12, 1986, and they were together ever since. It took 12 days from meeting to say their “I love yous” to each other, knowing they would be together always. They married in October 1987, and celebrated their 25th anniversary this past October, taking their dream vacation to the United Kingdom.  If you saw them together, they were always hand-in-hand. They wanted to spend every minute of time together that they could. Strangers would come up to them and ask if they were newlyweds, and aspired to have a relationship like they did. John adored his daughters and was adored by Alicia, Catherine, and Stephanie. He always made a point to play with them, to be silly with them, to attend every play, recital, game, Father-Daughter Dance, parent-teacher conference, or whatever it was, always taking time off work to do so. He enjoyed participating in  Musical Theater productions with them as well. Even as adults, “The Girls” knew they could ask him anything, and he would do whatever he could to help them. He loved to go to midnight showings of blockbuster movies with his family, even if it meant only having 3 hours of sleep before work. John became the proud Grandpa of Jack, now 5 years old. They were our “men of the house”.  John helped to teach Jack so many things, including how to be a kind, gentle, yet strong man and to treat all people with respect and kindness. Jack was thrilled to help his Grandpa with the car, cleaning the yard, or any other task he could help with.


John  loved to sing. He sang for the U.S. Navy during his enlistment, at his parish in California, and most recently was a member of  the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish Choir, singing Bass or Tenor, whichever was needed. He loved singing on our long road trips, of which the girls have many fond memories. John was passionate about outer space. Working in the Deep Space Network at JPL, he played an integral part in launches to Mars, Saturn and many other adventures related to space operations. This required a superior mind. It required patienceplay and tenacity. John brought all that was required, and more. He brought warmth and humor. He was a caring and supportive human being, fully engaged with life. The hard work of many rests on few shoulders, at times. John had strong shoulders. He was one of those wondrous people who improved any situation. He was a magic ingredient. His love of the stars and planets were a joy to behold.


John was a man who always put others above himself. He put his all into everything he did. He was a beautiful man with a loving, kind, and generous heart. He had a great sense of humor, a beautiful smile, and an incredible love for his family. He will be missed beyond belief.


He is survived by his loving wife, Leslie; his daughters, Alicia, Catherine, and Stephanie; his Grandson, Jack; his mother, Henrietta;  his brother-in-law, Edwin; his father, Jack, and his wife, Shirley; his brother, James; many cousins, aunts and uncles; and many friends and colleagues whom John touched with his generous spirit.

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Services are as follows:


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church

17856 NE Woodinville-Duvall Rd.

Woodinville, Washington 98077


Rosary and Vigil, Friday Feb. 15th, 7:30 pm

Mass, Saturday Feb. 16th, 1100 am

Reception to follow.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in John’s name to:  or to help make his dream of going into space a reality.

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