Meet David and Rosalia Rojas
By Beverly Clark, RLACEI Publicity Chair
David and Rosalia “Rose” Rojas both worked for the City. Rose retired in 2010 with 33 years of City service, and David joined Rose and retired in 2011 with 20 years of service. David worked for the DWP, Harbor and the LAPD. Rose worked for Harbor, PW/Sanitation, Community Development and the LAPD. Both retired as Management Analyst IIs.
Activities and Hobbies
David enjoys playing the trumpet and watching or attending as many L.A. Dodger games as possible. Rose has taken up painting, yoga and tai chi, and she is attempting to learn to play the piano (purchased with some of the early retirement incentive funds). They both support their high school alma mater football team – Banning Pilots of Wilmington.
They also enjoy keeping busy with babysitting grandkids and attending extracurricular activities (sports, music and school-related events). David hopes to resume deep-water aerobics once the pandemic is officially lifted.
They absolutely love their family of four children: Danielle, Rachel, Nicole and Vincent; and their 11 grandchildren: Jazmyne, Nina, Gabriel, Isaiah, Joshua, Adrian, Desiree, Andrew, John, Jacob and Evelyn.
Their travels have taken them to France (Paris), Spain (Marbella), Morocco (Tangiers), the Caribbean (St. Maarten), Mexico (Veracruz, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas), Alaska, Hawaii (Kauai, Maui and Oahu), Yosemite, and Sedona, Ariz. Once it is safe to travel again, their plans include a Danube River cruise, a trip to Italy and eventually to the Northeast for the changing of the leaves. Both agree that these travel plans should put a sizable dent in their bucket list of places to visit.
David served as a LACERS Well Champion briefly but relinquished the position due to personal commitments. He also served as a Reserve Sergeant for the City of Norwalk Public Safety Department for several years. Both David and Rose were members of AARP.
Before the pandemic, Rose helped with organizing tea parties at their church and was very involved with their senior center. She also attended health seminars, karaoke and social gatherings.
David plays the trumpet for Cerritos College Concert Band and Orchestra (currently on pandemic hiatus).
Words of Wisdom
David encourages Retirees to enjoy themselves and make the most out of retirement – “you earned it!” For “those about to retire – don’t be afraid and don’t make excuses for not taking that important first step in the next chapter of your life. It’s okay to let go.” Rose recommends Retirees “attend all pre-retirement seminars you can, ask questions and understand your medical benefits, including Medicare.”
How did you prepare for retirement?
David: “Retirement came kind of unexpectedly; I just jumped into the deep end. I had an appointment to meet with a retirement counselor to discuss plans about retiring in about five years but was informed that there were pending changes in the retirement system benefits that might impact me later and that it would benefit me to retire sooner. So I did and retired on June 30, 2011.”
Rose: I always planned to retire the minute I turned 55. I postponed it a few months because the City was offering the early retirement incentive; it worked out well.
What do you miss or don’t miss about your years of service with the City?
David: “I miss the camaraderie with my co-workers the most, but I certainly don’t miss the grind of the daily commutes and work deadlines. “
Rose: “I miss talking with my work friends and having lunch with them; I don’t miss getting up early or driving those freeways, especially in the rain!”
As you reflect on your City career, would you have done anything differently?
David: “The only thing that I might have done differently is to have applied with the City much sooner in my life. Rose had been after me for several years to apply while I was still working in the private sector.”
Rose: “Maybe I should have started saving money earlier in my career; it’s harder to save later when you have kids and want to take them on vacation. Also, college tuitions can get expensive.”
How do you fill your days?
David: “Most of my pre-pandemic time was spent playing music, working as a Reserve Sergeant and chauffeuring the grandkids to and from elementary, middle and high schools, respectively. I also made a commitment to watch my grandson. Nowadays, most of my time is spent working on the proverbial ‘Honey-Do’ list, and I have become a full-time live-in handyman!”
Rose: “I’ve taken up gardening, which turned out to be more work than just planting a few seeds; I enjoy antique shopping and finding a bargain.”
If you could change one thing about retired life, what would that be?
David: “There’s not a whole lot I would change about retired life. I’m pretty satisfied with the way things turned out, although there were a few minor bumps in the road along the way.”
Rose: “I would have researched the Medicare process more thoroughly. The process was a little more cumbersome than expected, especially for those of us who didn’t pay into Social Security.”
Since the shelter-in-place order, how has life changed for you, and are you bored?
David: “What I find most challenging is the self-confinement and not being able to do what I want when I want. Socializing with family and friends is kept to an absolute minimum – most interaction is done via telephone or e-mail since I’m not active on the social media platform. I had time on my hands to clean out the garage and the patio. What I miss most is not being able to attend band/orchestra rehearsals and concert performances. I also miss the freedom of not being able to go in public without a mask and constantly being concerned about social distancing protocols. I wouldn’t say that I’m bored; it’s more like frustrated with the restrictions and all of the precautionary measures that have to be observed.”
Rose: “I find housework both challenging and boring, but I try to do a little each day. We’ve done some work around the house to clear up clutter. I still talk to family and friends via telephone or e-mail. I miss hugging people, talking face-to-face (Zoom just doesn’t do it for me), traveling or just going to the movie theater. Although COVID-19 has touched our family, like many others, I’m grateful for my husband, our health, children, grandkids and, of course, that check at the end of each month!”
David says, “Although we’ve been married 43 years this year, we’ve actually known each other approximately 54 years since junior high school. We both graduated from the same high school, too.”
David began his City career as a Security Officer and, after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach, it enabled him to get promoted and eventually retire as a Management Analyst II. He took a break in service to teach for the LAUSD at the elementary school level but returned to the City for a better salary.
David served in the US Air Force and was honorably discharged after having achieved the rank of Sergeant. Although a Vietnam-era veteran, he never served in Vietnam, nor was he ever in a combat zone.
Their middle daughter, Rachel, retired from the Air Force in November 2020 after 21-plus years of service. Her tour in Iraq as a Bomb Squad specialist was probably the most agonizing period of their lives!
Their eldest daughter, Danielle, has followed in their footsteps and is a Management Assistant with the City.
The Rojases are enjoying their retirement and staying active and on the move!