Roxanne Lee McGillis, 57, passed away in Aitkin, Minnesota on Monday, November 14, 2022.
“Beautiful, inside and out” is something people say in an offhand manner, but in Roxanne’s case it was completely and absolutely true. Roxie, as she was known to her family and friends, is a rare soul, so full of love and compassion. We will dearly miss her infectious laugh, her gorgeous smile, her playfulness, and most of all, her loving nature.
Born on November 11, 1965, Roxie was raised in Aitkin, Minnesota by her mother, Linda McGillis and her step-father, Jack McGillis. Caring for others came natural to Roxie at an early age. When she was seven, she eagerly awaited her baby brother’s arrival and didn’t want to let anyone else hold him once he was born; he was all hers! After graduating from Aitkin high school, she worked her way through college, attending the University of Minnesota and later the College of St. Catherine to become a registered nurse. She cared for sick and injured children at St. Joseph Health System and the Shriners Children’s Hospital, and made many lasting relationships with not only her co-workers, but also with the parents and kids who were lucky enough to have her as their nurse.
Roxie was always great with kids, and she never lost her joyful, youthful spirit, even as an adult. She loved the Minions, so we’ll always think of her whenever we see one, particularly Kevin, her favorite. (She had the complete collection of happy meal toys from McDonalds!) Roxie brought joy to people in so many ways. She could always be counted on for festivity and party decorations around the holidays, whether it was the 4th of July, Halloween, or Christmas. She loved being a godmother and aunt, and enjoyed gifting fun toys and presents to her nieces and nephews.
At age 28 when Roxie found out she was expecting, she was so excited to welcome that little girl into her life. She was proud of Ally and all her endeavors, whether it was academics, soccer, or dance. Roxie was an independent single mother, and the two of them shared a strong bond. Roxie would do countless little things for Ally like leaving her a trail of heart-shaped notes to her Valentine’s gift, or putting a note in her lunch box. She raised Ally with the same unconditional love, support, and kind-heartedness she showed to her friends, and Ally is grateful to have had such a wonderful role model.
While Roxie was putting herself through college, she worked as a waiter at a Wyndham hotel. From the time that she started working there, the hotel had received 3,000 positive comments about Roxie, and in 1999, she received the Employee of the Year award for the whole, international organization. They produced a congratulatory video for her, featuring commentary from both customers and co-workers. Chris Rock presented the award to Roxie at the annual Wyndham award ceremony. It was just one example of how friends and strangers alike couldn’t help but love her.
Roxie was admired and adored by so many. She was an amazing friend, mother, neighbor, daughter, auntie, and sister. Roxie radiated love and positivity to all those who knew her, and rarely had an unkind word for anyone. And all through her struggles with cancer, Roxie was selfless, always more worried about the needs of others than she was her own. Even as she battled cancer in her own body, Roxie found a way to help her neighbor battle hers. She cared deeply for her friends and family, and never forgot to ask her loved ones for the latest updates on their health concerns or life happenings.
Though we are heartbroken to be without our sweet Roxie, we are happy she can be at peace now as she transcends the earthly realm. She was so brave and unceasingly positive, that it inspires us to live our life more like her. The world may be dimmer in her absence, but we can all carry on her legacy by living our lives with the generosity, acceptance, and love she showed us. Roxie’s spirit lives on, her love an energy that never dies.
Roxie is survived by her mother Linda McGillis; her siblings, Brenda McGuire, Dawn (Steve) Slette, and John (Nicole) McGillis; the love of her life, Jon Richert; her daughter Ally Johnson and step-daughters Taylor and Talia Richert; her nephews and nieces, John, Joe, and Jay McGuire, and John, Bayley, Blake, and August McGillis, and Madison and Hannah Slette; her father Dick Kuschel; and many, many more family and friends.
In her own words, “I am simple and calm. I love life and caring for people.” –Roxie McGillis
We love you so much, Roxie - we will always hold you in our hearts.
A gathering of family and friends along with a luncheon will take place Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 1 PM until the 3 PM Celebration of Life at the 40 Club Banquet Center, 960 2nd Street NW, Aitkin with Pastor David Becker officiating. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Aitkin.