Sherrie Bouge Rocha
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life at Pioneer Park (Tillicum House) Sunday, December 17, in Ferndale Washington 12-4 PM.
Sherrie Bouge Rocha, 54, died peacefully November 22nd at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Washington surrounded by loved ones.
Sherrie was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Bouge; father, Richard Bouge; sister, Brenda Bouge; and brothers, David and Rich Bouge.
Sherrie is survived by her beloved husband of 35 years, Juan Rocha, of Ferndale WA; niece, Natalie (Scot) Seay, of MO; niece, Ali (Eric) Peller, of Olympia, WA; great nieces, Ally and Taylor Seay; and great niece, Lexie Peller and great nephew, Landon Peller among many other nieces and nephews.
Sherrie was born in Olympia Washington May 22nd, 1969 and attended Olympia High School. She was well liked by her classmates and peers who described her as spicy, sassy, hilariously funny, confident, strong, and beautiful.
Even at a tender age, it was apparent to her elementary classmates that she was a leader. Anyone who knew her was simply proud to be her friend.
Growing up, Sherrie loved speedskating and honing her skating skills at the local skating rink, Skateland. Sherrie loved Puget Pantry nachos and Eastside Big Toms. Whenever she returned to Olympia for a visit she always had to make a stop for her go-to Little Tom burger and goop.
Sherrie loved country music, Chris Stapleton's Tennessee Whiskey, and especially Las Vegas. Once Sherrie discovered Las Vegas, she was hooked. She loved the glam and glitter and the escape it provided for her and Juan from the grind and monotony of life. Its no wonder her favorite movie was Casino.
Sherrie also loved photography and cooking, especially for others.
For her 16th birthday, Sherrie was gifted a 1966 Ford Mustang. Sherrie was a speed racer and unfortunately within a year the car was totaled. In fact, she went on to wreck every single car she had as a teenager. Including an ugly 1973 Ford Mustang when she turned 18. Quite remarkable, really.
Sherrie was employed by Club Demonstrator Service as a Product Demonstrator at Costco. Her friendliness and great energy made her a valued employee. She made people laugh and made work fun for others. Her coworkers, many of whom were close friends, described her as an awesome one of a kind woman whose behind the scene antics, sarcasm and humor were treasured.
Sherrie believed in equality and justice for all and was passionate about human rights, especially women's rights. She was committed to staying informed, was an avid advocate and ally to marginalized populations and used her voice to denounce injustice whenever she had the opportunity. She was committed to helping those in need and found purpose and fulfillment in providing food and clothing for those who were homeless.
In 1990, Sherrie met the love of her life, Juan. Juan became instantly smitten by Sherrie's infectious laugh and charming smile. Yet, it would be an entire year before they began dating. Juan came to respect and regard her as the smartest and kindest person he ever knew. He noted that she was selfless and always put others first.
In 1992, Juan and Sherrie moved from Olympia to Bellingham for Juan’s job. Sherrie had a difficult time adjusting to their new home at first, she actually hated it, but she fell in love and was never leaving. They eventually moved to Ferndale, where several of their friends already resided, to pursue a closer community.
In 1996, Sherrie and Juan were married. Sherrie was incredibly proud of the life and home that she and Juan had built together over the years.
Sherrie was deeply devoted to her family. Her proudest and biggest accomplishment was facilitating the unification of a once disconnected group of relatives into a close knit family. She encouraged all of her nieces and nephews to meet and make an effort to get to know each other. She was indeed the foundation and glue that held everyone together.
Sherrie had a particularly special and close relationship with her niece Natalie. She filled many important roles in Natalie’s life; she was a big sister, an aunt, and mother figure at times. She became Natalie’s safe place. Her protector from neighborhood bullies. They were road trip buddies and best friends. Despite their age gap, she never made Natalie feel like she was a nuisance or that she wasn't an equal. Sherrie was nurturing and provided her stability, love, and guidance, a stark contrast to a childhood home that was unstable and shaky at best. Sherrie was more than Natalie’s rock, she was her heartbeat to the world. She was Natalie's light. She was Natalie's person.
Just weeks before her sudden passing, Sherrie had been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. As the shock and disbelief of the new diagnosis was beginning to wear off, like most hardships she had faced in her life, Sherrie decided that whatever the outcome may be, she would face the battle ahead with courage and grace.
As Sherrie was faced with her own mortality, she chose to be more present and mindful. To forgive and hope to be forgiven. To be loved and to love.
To honor Sherrie’s memory, would be to slow down and care about the world around you, be kind and full of wonder, more gentle and less judgmental, laugh, laugh a lot, and then laugh some more.
As the reigning matriarch, she left a profound impact on the hearts of her family by modeling kindness, compassion, and unconditional love every day of her life.
Peace be with you, Sherrie. We will deeply miss your beautiful spirit.