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GENEVIEVE ROSE KOKOTAS

September 14, 1936 ~ June 17, 2018 (age 81)

Genevieve Rose Kokotas

September 14, 1936 – June 17, 2018

 

Genevieve Rose Kokotas passed away on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in Placerville, California, after a long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family and the support of many friends. “Genny” was 81 years old. Her children will miss her incomparable love. Her grandchildren will never know a bigger fan.

Genny was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 14, 1936, to first-generation Italian immigrant parents, the late Philip and Nina (Fanelli) Bellino. She was the only surviving quadruplet, and at 11-plus pounds, made it clear from the start who would be running the show. (Through the years and into adulthood, this would be hotly contested by her equally dynamic siblings John, Joseph, Catherine, and Theresa.) As a child, Genny was a spitfire and an entertainer. She loved parties and the chance to perform for a crowd, was often getting into trouble (especially with her brother Joe), and was always making friends wherever she went. She loved to ice skate and, as a young woman became a professional skater with the Ice Capades — something that made her father beam with pride. 

Genny later channeled her daring spirit and love for adventure into a life-long career in travel that allowed her to see the world. First a flight attendant for TWA, she later became a greeter for the airline and  for Japan’s office of tourism, all of it being work that tapped into her extraordinary gift for connecting authentically with people. It was around this time that Genny met Steven Kokotas, who finally got her to agree to dance by the third try. Anyone who knew Steve knew what a great dancer he was and the rest is history; The two were married on October 2, 1966.

Genny later found her true passion in work as a travel agent—something she genuinely loved and continued to do up until the last months of her life. One of the strongest and most influential women her children would ever know, she was both fantastic at her work and passionate about her family. Like her mother, she was also an incredible cook who lived to eat, and knew how to turn any ordinary meal into a huge, celebratory feast. As she did when she was a child, Genny forever loved parties, both throwing them and attending them.

Wherever she went, Genny was the favorite. Headstrong, hotheaded and outspoken, she was still more often than not, exactly who you wanted to be with no matter the adventure. She had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh that could send whole groups of people into a tizzy. She loved walking and exploring, shopping nonstop, dining out with friends, staying up late to watch movies, playing games, and sharing jokes and stories. A relative said that Genny was just about the most fun person she had ever known. This was a true story. A generous spirit who could make friends with anyone anywhere and who wouldn’t hesitate to take the shirt off her back to help another, Genny absolutely lived life to the fullest and always on her own terms.

Most would agree, though, that Genny really hit her stride as a grandmother. Dubbed “Candy Gram” by her grandchildren, there was nothing she wouldn’t do for them, no amount of time too long for them to stay at her house, no meal too difficult to whip up, no party they couldn’t come along to, no movie too late to see, complete with boxes of candy bursting from her purse. She will forever be an epic figure in their lives and possibly no one ever will do things as well or with as much flair as gram did, especially when it comes to the holidays or to making pasta and sauce.

Genny is preceded in death by her late husband Steven John Kokotas, her beloved parents Philip and Nina Bellino, her brothers John Bellini and Joseph Bellino, and her brother-in-law Frank Gialluisi. She is survived by her daughters—her “three girls”— Jenny Lynn Bohren (Chad), Nina Filip Kokotas Hahn (Sean), and Kara Jo Kokotas Smith (James); her son Daniel John Kokotas (Kim); her dear sisters Catherine Gialluisi (Norman) and Theresa Verzak (David); her sisters-in-law Mary Bellino and Beverly Bellini; and countless, adoring nieces and nephews.

She also leaves behind the lights of her life, her cherished grandchildren Devin Lane Kokotas, Nick Lane Kokotas (Nichole); Collin Lane Kokotas (Kaytana); Austin Tyler Moyer, Christian Patrick Moyer, Trent Thomas Moyer, Sophia Scarlet Hahn, Everett Craig Hahn, Piper Rose Smith, Tatum Rose Smith, Aidan Renee Smith, Ethan James Smith, Abigail Lynn Smith, Alexander Kokotas, Quinn Kokotas, and Kelly Rose Kokotas; and two great grandchildren, Danny Lane Kokotas and Jaxson Eric Kokotas.

 

Her Journey’s Just Begun

Author Unknown

 

Don’t think of her as gone away
her journey’s just begun
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days or years.
Think how she must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched
for nothing loved is ever lost

and she was loved so much.

 

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