Hilda Rocca, an unfailingly kind woman, died January 27, 2020. Hilda was born in Vienna, Austria to Johan and Franziska Kalchhauser. She grew up with her two sisters and one brother, Franz, who was killed in the last two weeks of WWII. They received news of his death on the day their home was bombed. Hilda had remarkable eyes, one blue and one brown. After the war, a Russian guard stopped her at the border crossing between the Russian and American zones as she was traveling to visit her sister. Hilda feared they would detain her as the officer lined up the troops. They all checked out her eyes and then let her continue her journey.
Hilda met James Rocca of Spokane in Vienna in 1958 where he was studying for his doctorate at the University of Vienna. They were married in the Santa Fe Cathedral in 1966 and spent the next 25 years in New Mexico where Jim taught international law and political economy. Hilda was an excellent cook, especially wild game which she served with traditional Austrian dishes. Jim and Hilda moved to their home on the Spokane River in 1990, a place she selected because it reminded her of Austria. They traveled all over Europe, to South America and to Russia but she always came back to her beloved home. She kept an immaculate house and yard and attracted many birds and animals, from hummingbirds to moose.
Hilda is survived by Jim, her husband of 54 years. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, and one son, Franzi who was killed in an accident while working in Germany. Hilda never liked people to make a fuss over her. Please offer prayers for her and pay her kindness forward. A funeral mass will be celebrated for Hilda on Tuesday, February 4 at 10 am at St. George’s Catholic Church, 2010 N Lucas Street, Post Falls, ID followed by burial at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane.
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