Cover photo for Rojelio J. Rosales's Obituary
Rojelio J. Rosales Profile Photo

Rojelio J. Rosales

d. May 8, 2015

Rojelio J. Ross Rosales, 97, of Pocatello, passed away Friday, May 8, 2015, of natural causes. Rojelio was born June 20, 1917, in Tepechitlan, Zacatecas, Mexico to Juan Carlos Rosales and Mercedes Bugarin Jimenez Rosales. In mid-1918 the family, including his older brother, Epigmenio Rosales, migrated to the U.S. From very early youth, Rojelio worked alongside his family on farms throughout the western states, ultimately settling in Shelley, Idaho. He attended Shelley High School for a time, and competed on varsity basketball and football teams. Having labored for years as a youth, he was exceptionally fit and athletically capable beyond most peers despite his prior lack of opportunities to participate scholastically. He often spoke fondly of that time. In early 1941 Rojelio met the girl who would become his lifelong love in Pocatello, Idaho, and would ultimately marry Manuela Nellie Garcia on October 15, 1941. Their near 56 year marriage ended tragically on September 15, 1997, when Manuela was lost to cancer. However, their union had blessed them with 7 children. In mid-1942 Rojelio left farm work for the greater promise of the Union Pacific Railroad, where he began working on August 4, 1942. Within a year however, Rojelio responded to the call of his country & WWII, and was inducted into the U.S. Army on September 14, 1943. He would ultimately serve with distinction in several major South Pacific battles, earning 2 Bronze Stars for heroism in combat with 2 and 4 star cluster attachments while actively engaged for nearly 19 months in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged on December 16, 1945, after conclusion of the war. Thereafter, Rojelio returned to quietly raise his growing family, and resume his work with UPRR, where he would eventually retire on May 27, 1982, after nearly 40 years of dedicated service. Within that time he also leveraged his GI Bill benefits, and from 1948-1951 earned 4 technical certifications from Idaho State College. A deeply religious man, he was a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus at St. Anthonys Church. He will be remembered as an immensely honorable, dedicated & much loved family man and patriot. Rojelio is survived by three daughters, Ermalinda Alanis of Riverside, CA, Emily Osterhout of San Antonio, TX, Phyllis Gonzales of Pocatello; three sons, Ronald Rosales (Pocatello), Gregory (Jeanine) Rosales of Little Rock, AR, and Vincent (Toni) Rosales of Billings, MT; 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Manuela Rosales, and one son, Rojelio J. Rosales, Jr. A vigil service will be held Thursday, May 14, 2015, at 7 pm at Colonial Funeral Home, 2005 S. 4 th Ave. Pocatello, ID. Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 15, 2015 11 am at St. Anthonys Catholic Church, 524 N. 7 th Ave. Pocatello, ID 83201 followed by a full Military Honors burial at Mountain View Cemetery. A luncheon will be hosted at St. Anthonys Church immediately after burial services. Our family would like to extend heartfelt appreciation to our sister, Phyllis Gonzales, for the loving care provided to our father over the many months of declining health through his final hours. Also, to all "Grampa Ross" very special friends at the Pocatello Senior Citizens Center, Taco Bell at 941 Yellowstone Avenue, and the caring staff of Gateway Transitional Care & Rehabilitation Center. In lieu of flowers we kindly suggest donations be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation @ Condolences can be made to the family online at


05/14/2015 19:00


Aberdeen LDS Church

149 W. Central St.




Mass of Christian Burial

05/15/2015 11:00

Colonial Chapel

2005 S 4th Ave




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