ROCKWELL—Enid N. Rockwell, 89, of Bloomsburg, Pa., and formerly of Florence, died unexpectedly June 4, 2014, in Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.
Born in Concordia, Argentina, on Jan. 11, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Letitia (Belsey) and Chief Yellow Hawk.
She had resided in Bloomsburg with her daughter for the last three-and-a-half years and previously lived in Florence for 25 years.
Enid’s early life was atypical. She was a contortionist in her Cherokee father’s Wild West show traveling throughout South America, Santo Domingo, Haiti and Cuba. She performed for the president of Haiti, Papa Doc, when he was a child.
She spoke four languages when she arrived in the United States at the age of 13 and supported her family by performing in circuses and private venues. In her teens, she worked as a model and toured with the USO. After her children started school, she worked as a translator for National Geographic magazine and as a key punch operator for McCalls Informational Services.
Though she received sporadic formal education, she was an intelligent and creative woman. She was an exceptional seamstress, sewing clothes for her daughters and things for her home. She discovered quilting in her 40s and made beautiful quilts for her family and grandchildren.
She also loved to read and garden. She had a wicked sense of humor and was appreciative of her family, which was most important to her.
Enid was preceded in death by her husband, Sylvester Rockwell, in 1979, and by a sister, Edna Gebara.
Surviving Enid are two daughters: Sherry R., wife of David Rider, at home, and Charlene, wife of Paul Wilson, of Florence; five grandchildren: Christopher Rider, wife Eileen, Washington, D.C.; Andrew Rider, wife Janelle, Arnold, Md.; Jessica Rider, wife of Nafeez Amin, Rockville, Md.; Justin Wilson, of Portland, Ore.; and Julian Wilson, of Florence; and five great-grandchildren: Maxwell and Riley Wilson and Maisie, Nolan and Willamena Rider.
A memorial service was held Monday, June 9, in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc. Funeral Home and Cremation Service, with Fr. Dominic O. Azagbor, O.P. of Maria Joseph Manor officiating.
Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation: 8330 Ward Parkway, Suite 510, Kansas City, MO 64114.
Condolence messages and photographs may be posted at www.krinerfuneralhomes.com.
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