Leigh Anne Raschkow, a loving mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully on March 24th at age 44.
She was born to William and Eleanor Raschkow in Burien, Washington, on August 26th, 1976. Raised in Auburn with seven older siblings who adored her, Leigh Anne graduated from Auburn High School in 1994, where she was an exemplary student and stand-out basketball player. She also played soccer and ran track. She was the recipient of many awards during her high school career, including Athlete of the Year, the Masonic Outstanding Achievement award, and the Washington State Honors award.
Immediately after high school, Leigh Anne attended Green River Community College for one year, where she was a starter on the basketball team. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Seattle University, earning a degree in Finance. She was a competitive point guard on the women’s basketball team, recognized as a three-year starter and team captain during her senior year.
Leigh Anne was a driven and dedicated female leader. She began her career at Electronic Data Systems and continued to work for eBreviate and Safeway in Northern California. Most recently, Leigh Anne worked for Microsoft as a Senior Sourcing Engineer. She spent over 13 years at Microsoft, traveling and supporting technology teams across the globe.
The job Leigh Anne put the most energy into was being a mom. She lived in Bellevue with her partner Mat Rocha and their two children, Samantha “Sami” Rocha and Blake Rocha. Proud mom is an understatement – her children filled her heart and were her primary focus every day. Their family was active and always on the go. They were regularly involved in sports, clubs, weekend getaways, and neighborhood parties and surrounded by an incredibly supportive community of friends.
Leigh Anne loved being around her large Raschkow family. Family gatherings and vacations to the family beach house and Loon Lake were special memories created each year. Leigh Anne cherished the family traditions and always made them extra special for her 17 nieces and nephews – she was definitely the “favorite” aunt.
Leigh Anne loved basketball (both coaching and playing), cheering on the Seahawks, dancing like no one’s watching, and most importantly, spending time with her family and friends. What everyone loved in Leigh Anne was her positive energy and ability to connect with anyone. She would listen with such focus and intention, you felt like the most important person in the room. Everyone has a distinct memory of Leigh Anne’s infectious laugh and warm smile that
could lift any spirit. She was the person you could count on to “call it like it is,” but she also used her sarcasm and silliness to make everyone in a room laugh out loud.
Two and a half years ago, Leigh Anne suffered an intense stroke that limited her mobility, speech, and independence. Through her own grit and resilience, Leigh Anne did not let this diagnosis slow her down. She pushed her mind and body to be stronger, more independent, and more positive each day. Leigh Anne inspired those around her to be grateful and see the joy in even the smallest accomplishments. Here is a quote she loved from the poem Every Day Can Be Beautiful (Larry Chengges):
“If you can make each day a new beginning and live the life that you believe in, then you’ll feel that wherever you happen to be can really be a beautiful place.”
Leigh Anne will be forever remembered by a large extended family who loves her dearly and all she accomplished in her lifetime. She was preceded in death by her father, William Raschkow. She is survived by her partner Mat Rocha, their two children Samantha and Blake, her mother Eleanor, siblings Kerry (Elaine), Laurie Gillespie, Lisa (Mark) Johnson, Kevin (Marie), Keith (Gayle), Lynn (Mike) Walch, Kyle (Sylvia Hansen), several nieces and nephews, and many friends around the world.
The family will be hosting a small, private service at St John the Baptist Catholic Church. Leigh Anne will be laid to rest with her father in a joint burial at Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn, Wa.
In place of flowers, donations can be sent to the University of Montana Big Sky Aphasia Program. Leigh Anne spent time here during her recovery and loved their welcoming community. https://tinyurl.com/raschkow