Letter of Recommendation

   Cancer Obituary


After a protracted battle with cancer, Elaine Karen Rogers died on February 3, 2014 in Oakdale, CA at the age of 48. She leaves behind her husband, Michael Willis; her daughters, Joyce and Leigh Willis; and her son, Eliot Willis.

Elaine was born on January 14, 1966 in Seattle, WA, to father Warren Rogers and mother Nina Rogers, who predeceased her. She grew up in a large, loving family with three sisters and two brothers. In college, she excelled in the sciences and won the National American History award for her thesis on Henrietta Lacks. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Seattle with a degree in chemistry in 1988.

Elaine married classmate Michael Willis on May 21, 1986. Shortly after graduation, they relocated to Oakdale, CA, where Elaine had accepted a position as a chemist for GenTique Compounds. There the couple lived and raised their three children.

Elaine was a driven professional with a secret love of romance novels and vintage clothing stores. When diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she remained dedicated in her work and in her will to fight her illness. She remained a brave, iron-willed woman, even throughout her final months.

Elaine is survived by her husband and children, as well as her sisters, Mary Ann Kane and Jenna Rogers; her brothers, Jim and Dave Rogers; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Tina Rogers; and her son Jack Willis, who died in infancy.

Elaine requested to be cremated. Her ashes will be interred at the family plot in St. James Cemetery. A reception at Chintimini Park will follow; all are welcome. The family would especially like to thank Linda Hollis, Elaine's resident caretaker, for her excellent work and loving care; the staff of Samaritan Hospital for their constant, attentive treatment; and the Samson Funeral Home, for making the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

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