Class helps Prokash celebrate 90th birthday


Carol Wagner, Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner On Tuesday, the Strong Bones class at Sacred Heart Catholic Church surprised Rose Prokash with a small celebration of her 90th birthday. Shown are, from left, Mary Nellis, Jeanne Kaczorowski, Mary Alexander, Prokash, Lois Brewster, Vickie Hetue and Sally Hesse.

Rose Prokash just finished up her Strong Bones class on Tuesday when instructor Jeanne Kaczorowski and others in the class surprised her with cupcakes, balloons and cards in honor of her 90th birthday.

Prokash will officially celebrate her birthday Saturday with about 150 family members at the Shawano Lake County Park pavilion. Prokash has 10 children, 28 grandchildren, four stepgrandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and four great-stepgrandchildren.

Asked about her life, Prokash said: “I don’t really worry. I wait until things happen, and then I decide what to do about it.”

She grew up on a farm in Kewaunee County and said the family ate really good food. She is the last sibling of nine.

She and her husband, Floyd, were married for 54 years before his death in 1974. Prokash didn’t get to celebrate her birthday much when married because her husband was always busy on income tax day, she said.

After moving to Shawano, she worked at J.C. Penney for 13 years.

When she was 85, she had a tumor in her stomach the size of a volleyball.

“My kids were calling it Wilson,” Prokash said.

She had ovarian cancer that required chemotherapy treatments. Prokash lost her hair, which then came in gray for the first time.

Prokash, who doesn’t take any prescribed medications, plays bridge, goes to daily Mass and has been in the Strong Bones class for 2 1/2 years. Previously she went to Curves.

Asked if she thought the class was helping her, Prokash said, “I think so. My kids think so.”