Geneseo School District nurse to retire after 46 year career

Claudia Loucks
Deb Rokis, who has worked as a nurse for the last 46 years, including at Geneseo High School for the last 19 ½ years, was showered with balloons in celebration of her retirement at the end of the 2022 school year. The balloon shower was given by co-worker Nicole Cherry, and her daughters, Marley and Quinn Cherry.

After a 46-year career as a nurse, Deb Rokis is retiring, but she is approaching it slowly, having retired as the Geneseo School District head nurse at the of May. She will continue to work for the School District until December of this year, serving as a mentor for school district nurses and assisting with vision and hearing screening at all district schools.

Her career began in 1976 when she received a degree in nursing from Franciscan School of Nursing in Rock Island, a program that was coordinated with Black Hawk College in Moline.

Rokis worked as a nurse in the Obstetrics Department at Franciscan Hospital in Rock Island, for 35 years, retiring from that position in 2011. She began working for the Geneseo School District in 1992 and continued to work part time for the school district and part time at Franciscan Hospital until 2011 when she retired from Franciscan Hospital…”I enjoyed working OB so much that I wasn’t ready to stop working there when I started working for the school district,” she said, and added that she left her job at Franciscan Hospital when she became a grandmother in 2011. She became the Geneseo School District head nurse in January of 2003 and worked on a full time basis.

She admits that in retirement she knows she “will miss the interaction with the kids and staff, but will be busy traveling and spending time with grandchildren.”

In retirement, Rokis and her husband Tony have plans to travel and she said, “We plan to visit our son Anthony and his family in Switzerland and then take a trip to Greece where my husband’s family is from.”

The Rokis couple has two sons, Anthony, Switzerland; Scott, Minneapolis, MN, and a daughter, Amy Swan, Colona; and six grandchildren.