Jacqueline "Jackie" Roback

Obituary of Jacqueline "Jackie" Roback

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Jacqueline Yvonne Marie Roback (Jackie) 9/14/1934 – 10/11/2021, Utica/Rome NY – In the wee hours of morning, on October 11, 2021, Jackie, beloved Mother, Nana, Baboo, Cioci and friend left her beautiful home, peacefully, during her dream time and headed for the grand dance floor in the sky. She had to do it that way, for she would have stayed forever for her family. She was 87. Mom AKA Nana, would want everyone to know that she had a good run. She'd hung in there trying to tie up loose ends and all her "procedures". Throughout this time her indomitable spirit, her caring, and her humor could not be distinguished. Though she had dementia, mom still remembered us and found new ways to communicate her sense of humor. We laughed with her till the end. She is the strongest woman we know. Though she will miss her beloved family and many things about earthly life - the time had come to put her happy feet back in motion. Mom married Dad, Joseph P. Roback in 1957 and they danced in one another's life until his passing in 2017. Together they built a future of family, love and dreams. When they danced together it was magic. They were so in-tune with one another with the flick of his finger she would twirl. They started their family in 1958 and the rest as they say is history. Mom was all about her children and as time passed, her grandchildren. If one was struggling or going without she'd make sure they were on equal footing being it through some extra love in time of need, a pot of your favorite soup, or better gloves in times of cold. Everything in the world should be fair and equal according to Mom. Courage, humor, and generosity were the foundation of Mom's incomparable personality. Humor, my God/ess she was funny! Her nieces and nephews called her Cioci Lucy, after Lucille Ball. (Cioci is Aunt in Polish) Her timing impeccable and playfulness contagious! She loved enlisting accomplices for her shenanigans so if you knew her, you were most likely to have gotten into good trouble. Courage. Mom was tiny bundle of tenacious from the get go. She had to be. Mom was a survivor who did not tolerate arguments or violence and she'd go toe-to-toe with giants if she had to. Jackie and the beanstalk. Masterfully disarming, turning ogres and grouches into playful pups. She was an indomitable spirit! Mom was incredibly generous. If her family or friends mentioned in general conversation something they needed, you could rest assured she'd have it written on an index card or sticky note and she be on the hunt to have it in our hands in no time. If we didn't want ten of whatever it was, it was best to keep it to yourself. She loved to gift. Mom had known challenges early in her life before living with Aunt and Uncle, so she would not tolerate anyone being cold or hungry. She was distressed by the homelessness she'd witnessed while working in downtown Utica. She'd often buy coats, gloves and socks during the post-Christmas sales. She'd go to work early under the cloak of darkness and leave stacks of things near the heat grates, always happy to see things had disappeared when she headed home at 5pm. As a young Mom she would read to us at nap and bedtime, erect tent forts, line us up with our stainless steel snack cups while she set our waist length hair in pink rollers; all but Jo Ann's anyway, she had a pixie. Mom dressed us like dolls and would take on part time jobs at night to make sure we had the right outfits and add to the family budget for non-essentials. Mom modeled locally and was fastidious about style and appearance. She was also fussy about her hair and slept in those hard plastic rollers with the sticks in them for years. She said she couldn't get the same hold with a curling iron. Whether you were 6 or 60, when you'd visit Mom at home, if she received any hint you might be cold, she'd be back in 10 minutes with a toasty throw to wrap you in, lovingly tucking it under your chin. She was a wonderful nurturer. Mom would snip the week's weather graphic from the newspaper and post it on her fridge. She'd call her daughters to remind them to stock up on milk and bread if there was a storm coming or to suggest playing hooky if the weather was good when we'd work "too hard." She never missed calling her daughters to remind us of the clock changes or when Chanatry's had a sale on our favorite protein. She would buy things in fours, often giving her daughters the same card on a holiday to be fair, afterwards sneaking you something special. Mom was an excellent cook who embraced her Polish heritage and could make killer golumpki, beet soup, and pierogi. Her beef stew was known to make grown fisherman cry! She loved music. Tony Bennett was her longtime favorite though she'd often be found cleaning the house to her "jams" Eric Clapton Unplugged and Barry White. She was highly intuitive. It didn't matter if you were trying to spare her from worry, she always knew. Dad would call her Radar because she would answer his questions before they were asked, just like Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H. She was like a kid at Christmas decorating with delight. Everything twinkled, glistened and shined. Gifts were always equal, she counted. She counted a lot. She'd race her last best time for some task by setting the clock on the microwave and announce her success with the victory cheer, "YES! I did it!" She loved the Wizard of Oz and could make you feel you were made of rainbows when she told the story of her first seeing color appear on the screen at "the show." She'd dress as the scarecrow and could move her knees and body just like Ray Bolger had done. One Halloween she rallied the co-workers' at the law firm where she worked. They dressed as the cast from Oz and skipped along Genesee St. (Right Paulie?) WKTV came to interview them and when asked the question to her boss, "who came up with this idea, he replied, "Our collection manager, Jackie Roback who we affectionately call Wackie Jackie!" Mom was not really an animal person but they loved her. There was a time when she was raking and two skunks rubbed themselves up against her legs like a cat. She talked to them while lightly scooting them away with her rake while Dad drove off amused, cautious, and laughing hysterically, knowing she could handle it without issue. A horseman's horse came running full tilt across the pasture and shadowed her every move along the fence line. The owner said that was a first for his horse. Her yard was filled with wildlife and the home's breezeway filled with photos of her visitors. Mom was a tiny woman who averaged 5' 2"ish 110 lbs. She prided herself in a hard day's work. She'd run circles around most 30-year-olds at 80. Unearthing and hauling landscaping rocks the size of an egomaniac's head, giving her weeping willow tree a "haircut," always working in her yard and on the land, Pepsi in one hand, hankie in the other. I know Mom would not want some laundry list of her work life because home and family were the most important things in her world. Nevertheless a few things bear mentioning. Jackie had a rough beginning as a young child where she quickly learned survival skills of resourcefulness, courage, endurance and humor. She endured the nuns at Holy Trinity in grade school and later graduated from UFA high school with the award for "Best Figure." A figure she kept into her 80s. She was employed by Partlow Corp. and multiple law firms until she retired. To add a bit of perspective on the kind of woman she was, she headed Mohawk Collections, a medical collections firm. Having come from poverty she knew was a compassionate listener with the people from whom she was collecting. So much so they'd often send her thank you notes! She even received flowers from debtors from time to time. Yes, she was that likeable. Her bosses were known to shake their heads in wonder. She was one-of-a-kind. Her earthy pleasures were, first and foremost, her beloved family followed by music and dance, her home, laughter, birds and the wildlife on her land, lobster, Tic-Tacs, coffee, and Pepsi. So, if you find a Tic-Tac stuck to your hankie, or anywhere else, it's probably Mom up to her shenanigans again. Mom was unique. If you knew her, you already know that. If you didn't, please ask her children about her sometime. We have many stories to share to keep her memory alive. Jackie is survived by her four daughters: Susan Roback and partner Charlie Jones, Waterville, NY, Deb Chandler and husband George, Floyd, NY, Sharon Yagey and husband Mike, Rome, NY, JoAnn Pal and husband Ron, Canastota, NY. Jackie leaves behind her beloved grandchildren, her pride and joy: Aubree and husband Joe Susino, Aryell and husband Pete Williams, Arianna Chandler, Joey Yagey, Rhonee Shea and Chaye Pal, and a great grandson, Carter Joseph Williams. Jackie also leaves her very special friend, Christine Guiliano. She was predeceased by her beloved husband Joe, Mother, Mary Popleski-Sakowski, Brother Bobby Zajac, Aunt and Uncle, Sadie and Abraham Mittleman, beloved grandson, Anusha Yagey and many family and friends. Strike up the band and let the reunion begin! In accordance with Jackie's wishes there will be no calling hours, and preferably no sadness. Family and friends are welcome to show their love and support. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Peter's Church, 200 N. James St., Rome, NY. The family will receive friends at church after the Funeral Mass. Private burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Whitesboro, NY. Mom would not want anyone being cold or hungry so In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her honor: Locally: Thea Bowman House, 315-797-0748 or https://www.theabowmanhouse.org/donate, Nationally: Operation Warm: https://www.operationwarm.org/who-we-are/financials.html or No Kid Hungry: online at https://www.nokidhungry.org Arrangements are by the Nicholas J. Bush Funeral Home, Inc., 7751 Merrick Rd., Rome, NY. To offer online condolences and read full obituary, please visit www.njbushfuneralhome.com


11:00 am
Monday, October 18, 2021
St. Peter's Church
105 E. Liberty St.
Rome, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
70 Wood Rd.
Whitesboro, New York, United States
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Jacqueline "Jackie" Roback

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Jacqueline "Jackie" Roback

1934 - 2021

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