Susan Rokus – Gone but not forgotten online
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Susan Rokus

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The Loudoun County Public Schools staff member who died last week from the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, is being remembered for her dedication to her students and her attention to fashion. Susan Rokus, who died last Wednesday, worked at the old Arcola Elementary School as well as Little River, Liberty, and Pinebrook elementary schools in Loudoun County. "It is with great sadness that I relay the news that Susan Rokus, a longtime teacher and champion of our local schools, passed away last night," School Board member Jeff Morse (Dulles) said in a Facebook post. Rokus, 73, was honored by Little River Elementary School Principal Kevin Murphy in 2019 as one of the core leaders of the school when it first opened 20 years ago The Loudoun County Health Department reported last Thursday the county's first death from the coronavirus, although it did not name Rokus. The health department said the person's close contacts were previously investigated and that it has reached out to those contacts. Rokus's cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19. Northern Virginia resident Lisa Mitchell remembered Rokus on Facebook. "I am incredibly sad to hear that our dear friend, former first grade teacher and reading tutor Susan Rokus passed away," Mitchell wrote. "For those who knew her knows that her heart was so big. I am not sure she realized how many children she helped. RIP Ms. Rokus." "I am not sharing her name or specific remembrances because it is my sense that she would prefer it that way, but she is someone who loved and was loved," Williams said. "She is someone who felt joy and sorrow. She is someone who poured her whole self into contributing to our community." The Loudoun County Health Department has reported 61 positive cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday. Rokus's case is the first known death from the virus reported in Loudoun County and the first of a Virginia public school educator. Rokus started as a first-grade teacher in 1969 and retired in 2014, staying on part-time to tutor struggling readers at two elementary schools, the Washington Post reported. While former students spoke of her lasting influence, Loudoun County Public Schools colleagues remembered her colorful outfits and distinctive decor, especially the leopard-print chair, shaped like a stiletto that she kept for years at the front of her classroom, according to the Post.