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Rochelle Lyn Klopfenstein Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of the Rochelle Lyn Klopfenstein Memorial Scholarship is to honor a woman who was a loving mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  As a dedicated citizen she was a remarkable person who influenced a wide and diverse group of people.

Rochelle was born in North Miami, Florida on February 15, 1971.  By the age of five, Rochelle and her family had lived in Miami, Spokane, and Los Angeles before settling near Black Lake in the Tumwater School District where she was raised.  She attended Peter G Schmidt Elementary, Black Lake Elementary, and Tumwater Middle School.  She graduated from Tumwater High School in 1989. 

As a girl, she participated in Girl Scouts, softball, and select Soccer teams.  Between the ages of 11 and 16 she was a paper carrier for the Daily Olympian.  During her Junior and Senior years of high school, she worked weekends for the Washington State Department of Information Services.

During her years at Washington State University (WSU), she worked at various state agencies during holidays and summer vacations.  At WSU, she was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta and graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  For several years after college she worked for Wal-Mart Corporation in various management positions.  During this time she married and had two children who were born in 1996 and 1998.  Her children became her primary purpose in life and Rochelle took the opportunity to do what she loved most, stay home and devote her life to them.  She was very involved with her children’s education, the schools they attended, and in their after-school and weekend activities.  She frequently volunteered at the Black Lake Elementary School where her children attended. 

After a divorce, Rochelle returned to a management position with the Wal-Mart Corporation and later worked for the Washington State Office of Financial Management as a Budget Assistant to the Governor.  At the time of her death, she was employed as the Deputy State Archivist with the Secretary of State’s Office.  She was frequently recognized for her outstanding work in state government.  Governor Christine Gregoire wrote to her two young children “Your mom helped make our government work better and was well liked and respected by people in many state agencies.  Please know that we are all proud to have known her.”

Rochelle will be missed as a wonderful mother to her beautiful children and remembered for her compassion for life that touched those around her.  She enjoyed gardening, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

On June 20, 2008, at the young age of 37, Rochelle passed on peacefully at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue after suffering a cardiac arrest.


  • Applicants must be a graduating senior from Black Hills or Tumwater High School.
  • Applicants must have attended Black Lake Elementary School for at least one year.
  • Applicants must plan to attend a 2-year college or a 4-year college with intent to transfer to a 4 year college to complete a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in core academic courses (English, math, science, social science, fine or performing arts, foreign language).
  • Applicants must be involved in extra-curricular activities (sports, clubs, etc.).
  • Applicants must display a strong work ethic.
  • Applicants must demonstrate good leadership skills.
  • Applicants must demonstrate they are an asset to the community.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a non-discriminating character.
  • Applicants must display strong teamwork values.
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need.


  1. Applicants must complete a Tumwater Education Foundation Scholarship Application, along with the supplemental information below.
  2. In 250 words or less, answer each of the following:
    1. Describe how you have demonstrated strong teamwork skills and work ethics.
    2. Describe how you have demonstrated good leadership skills.
    3. Describe yourself as a non-discriminating person.
    4. How have you demonstrated you are an asset to your community?  How do you plan to do so in the future?
    5. Describe your financial need.