COOKTOWN’S Mark Rootsey is being remembered as a good-hearted family man with a trademark larrikin grin, always ready for hard work, holidays and family time, after the 60-year-old passed away at home last week.
Daughter Amie said her dad’s passion in life was his property on Rootsey Road just north of Cooktown, and his family.
“He lived for the holidays when we would all come back to the property, he would build the kids swings, buy all their favourite foods and tell us ‘bring your work clothes because there is plenty of work to be done’,” Amie said.
“Dad’s four grandkids, Sienna, Texas, Remi and Rylee, were his best mates, they all had a special part in his heart; he couldn’t wait until Sienna got her licence so she could drive us around after Christmas shenanigans.
“Rylee was born with a brain injury and all he wanted to do was build her things to help her learn to walk, Texas and Remi were his best mates, he loved teaching Texas how to ride a four-wheeler, to look after her many dogs and feeding the cows and turkeys with Remi.”
Mark Rootsey, known by locals simply as ‘Rootsey’ was born in Cooktown and met his future wife Leanne at a local ball.
“He spoke to her all night then gave her his car keys and went away to work on a property for what she said was months – she never thought he was going to return,” Amie said.
“He loved catching up with mates for a XXXX beer; if there wasn’t one in his hand, there was something wrong!
“I know he will be looking after our Mum who recently passed also, and looking over us all.”
Rootsey worked with the Cook Shire Council bridge gang until his retirement, and was known as an active member of local events, including a regular competitor in Cooktown Discovery Festival novelties such as the Tiss Tot and tug-of-war competitions.
Rootsey is survived by his mother May, sister Wendy, son Bradley, daughter Amie and their families.
He will be sorely missed.