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Mariah Roat chose to live her life with joy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 | Posted by
Mariah Roat

Mariah Roat

Mariah Roat will not finish college or realize her dream of a career in Marketing. She won’t be moving to San Diego like she planned and she will never be a mom.

The Cloverdale High School grad died Tuesday night, just 10 months after being diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to her stomach, liver and ovary. She was 23.

It seems life did not always treat her fairly. Her own mom died from breast cancer when Mariah was 8. Her dad died after a long illness just two months after she turned 19.

Through it all, she remained positive, happy and upbeat. Her brother Chris Boblitt says she was a creative free spirit who was always smiling. “Even as a small child, she was incredibly happy and she stayed that way right to the end.”

Within three days of her unexpected diagnosis last October, friends organized a raffle that raised nearly $1,500 in only seven hours. Still others put on a Round Robin-style football tournament at Cloverdale’s City Park and another started a GoFundMe page that ultimately raised nearly $28k.

Her co-workers at La Rosa Tequileria & Grille in Santa Rosa recruited live bands and put on fundraising events for her. Bartender Ned Sheppa says “I’ve never met someone so insanely, naturally happy at every moment. She smiled and it lit up the room. All of Sonoma County came together for her and it was beautiful to watch.”

Michelle Hall worked with her at Papa’s Pizza in Cloverdale. She recalls the fun they had tubing down the river and remembers her as a beautiful, kind and positive person.

“We had been trying to make plans to see each other and catch up,” said Hall, “but something else always came up. This is a tough lesson to learn. Do not let life get in the way of things that are more important. Hug your loved ones and make sure you make time for the things that are important. Family and friends should always take priority.”

In addition to her siblings Augie Roat, Dustin Roat, Rocky Roat, Vanessa Roat and Chris Boblitt, Mariah is survived by numerous  family members and legions of friends, as well as her beloved dog, Cota.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

  • Robert R.

    I don’t even have the words, how very sad and tragic.. she always remained positive
    And continued to bless all those around her and all who knew her.

    “Hug your loved ones and make sure you make time for the things that are important. Family and friends should always take priority.”

    ~ I live by this every, single day…

    • Debbie R

      I only spent a little time with Mariah, but her smile lit up a room. A beautiful happy person, inside and out. So very sad! Rest in peace.

  • Nancy Lucas

    I am so sorry for the loss of this bright light. I am sure that those who have come into her life will always remember the example of her spirit. Rest in Peace and know you will be missed.

  • Brittany Wilson

    As one of her best friends, please change the intro to this article.. Very sad and negative way of describing her and it’s just not very tasteful to the people that love her. Respectfully.. Thank you.

    • kelsey

      I agree %100 I do not like this article.

  • Cindy G

    Oh baby girl. You are the strongest person I’ve ever met. Your smile when you were 6 just grew bigger as you grew up. It is the most beautiful smile I ever seen on a beautiful person. I could only try to stay as positive as you have been your whole short life. I know you and your mom are together, with Dad too. There is no more pain for you now Little One. I and the rest of the world are very blessed to have known you. I will truly miss you and that beautiful free spirit and smile. RIP Little One.

  • Karen Hall

    Met her tubing with my daughter when they both worked at Papa’s Pizza. Out of all, she stood out as vibrant, cheery, happy, friendly and a beautiful girl. Sorry to hear she lost her battle with cancer.

  • Liz Gilbertson

    I never got to truly get to know her, but my prayers are sent to her brother and the rest of her family. She is no longer suffering and watching you from above as the beautiful angel I hear she is.

  • I got out alive

    Something is wrong with that town. Cancer ground zero

  • kelsey

    I just don’t feel like this article does Mariah justic, no offense to the writer… But Mariah was way better then this depressing summary.

  • WS

    We all held out and believed in Mariah’s recovery. With cancer, you can’t expect any outcomes. Not everything is up to us. But Mariah stands out as one person that makes life seem to matter more to me than it ever has before. I’m so grateful for how strong and obstinately awake she was, determined to live a life of joy and contentment against any odds. She truly deserved far more from life than she had. In fact, I now hold the entire universe culpable for not being good enough or strong enough to give Mariah. She was bigger than life, than everything; I expect that her imprint will never leave us.

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Mary Jo Winter is our Cloverdale correspondent.
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