Dec. 2, 1940-April 5, 2023
An infinite capacity for love and the ability to never let people run out of second chances were the hallmarks of the beautiful life of Rosie Josephine Pinkela. She passed away peacefully at home on April 5. She died at 82 years old after a brief illness.
Rosie was born in the tiny town of Jordan Valley, Oregon, and grew up on a cattle ranch. Her family then operated a boarding house in town and Rosie worked with her family to feed the myriad travelers who passed through, and much of the town on a daily basis. It was there that Rosie became a Basque Oinkari dancer which led to a lifelong love of music and dance, from traditional songs and choreography all the way to Elvis and line dancing.
While Rosie loved Jordan Valley and her family, she realized that she wanted to live in the big city of Boise, Idaho, to pursue a career and to experience the world. Her ambition quickly led her and her best friend Barbara to pack up and head for California without jobs or a place to live. Rosie lived with cousins for a few months before deciding that California was the place to stay. She quickly found an apartment and started a career in computers.
That nascent career led her to meet two of the most important people in her life: Hilda Meakins and Frank Pinkela. Hilda was her boss and became a second Mom to Rosie, guiding her in many things professional and personal. Frank was Hilda’s boss and friend and quickly wanted to meet Hilda’s promising protege.
Rosie and Frank were married after a long courtship and settled into the Bay Area, moving from the South Bay to the East Bay where they put down roots and started a family. Part of the family was ready-made as Rosie became a second Mom to three children: Ken, Dolores and Frank. She then had a son of her own, Eric.
Being a Mom was Rosie’s most successful career. She raised her kids and then moved on to being heavily involved in her grandkids’ upbringing. If you saw Rosie at any time in her married life, you wouldn’t know if she was with a kid, an in-law, a grandkid or a great grandkid – they were all hers.
Family was always Rosie’s greatest passion. She was devoted to her late parents, Felisa (Madariaga) and Paul Arritola; her late brothers, Paul and Dan Arritola; her sisters, Joanne and Marie; and her plethora of nieces and nephews, whom she often treated like her own children. Rosie briefly had a second home near Boise to stay close to the family as it grew over the years, but always stayed connected by plane or by phone on a daily basis.
Rosie’s second love became the great game of golf. She took it up to make friends, share a hobby with her husband Frank, get outside, and spend lots of money on golf shoes. Golf became the focal point of travel, the core of her weekly schedule, and a great way to spend time with her sister and brother-in-law, her son, and any other family that was smart enough to get to know Rosie on the golf course. From tees to greens is where you could see Rosie’s athleticism, her resolve, her anger, her sense of humor, and her joy.
Going to games and watching them on television were Rosie’s other outlet for her competitive drive, and for her love of drama and victory. She was a fan of the Giants, 49ers and Warriors, and agonized alongside their many losses only to be rewarded by their many championships.
At the end of Rosie’s amazing life, her most impressive statistic was a 55-year marriage to Frank. Over the years, they worked together to coordinate many faith-based programs, including the area’s Cursillo movement, while supporting a growing family. She would be the first to say that the last 8 years of the marriage were the best as they truly shared everything: faith, golf, travel, kids, and grandkids.
Rosie is survived by her husband, Frank Pinkela of Pleasanton; sister and brother-in-law Joanne and Mike Odiaga of Boise, Idaho; sister Marie Kershner of Jordan Valley, Oregon; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Gwen Pinkela of San Ramon; stepson and daughter-in-law Frank III and Lynne Pinkela of Fairfield; stepson Ken Pinkela of Gilroy; stepdaughter and son-in-law Dolores and Armando Cardenas of Stockton; grandchildren Anastazya and Oliver Pinkela, Frank Pinkela IV, Sarah Hill, Jason Harbin, Tara Pinkela, Albany Pinkela, and Payton Pinkela; and many more adopted grandchildren and great-grandchildren.