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John Patrick (Jack) Roche. Born October 6, 1925 in the Dorchester section of Boston and died December 4, 2018 in Barrington, Illinois. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Rita Marie (née Kushner), their son John Michael, wife Deborah Kampmeier, and daughter Sophia Oppenheim; and their daughter Jennifer Roche, husband John F. Svolos, and children Zachary and Natalie Svolos. His sisters Anna (late William) Campbell and Kathleen (late Leo) Esinhart and preceded in death by brothers Donald Richard, Patrick Joseph, and Donald Francis.
John Patrick graduated from Boston’s Mechanic Arts High School at age 16. He started working at the Reece Button Hole Machine Company, drilling holes for military rifles until he enlisted. He was trained by the United States Army in WWII as a medical technician and served in Cherbourg, Normandy, France, where he worked in surgery at a field hospital. He was also assigned supervision of 10 German soldier captives, who teased him that the United States must be losing the war if they sent a boy so young to the frontlines. His time in France during the war later inspired his dedication to learning French.
John Patrick used the GI Bill of Rights to pursue his education and graduated from Boston University School of Management. He added post-graduate studies and later did his marketing graduate work at Seton Hall University. His career was in marketing and sales at Allied Chemical (which later became Rohm & Haas and then Honeywell), retiring in 1990 as Vice President of Sales for their Domestic and International Electronic Materials Group. During his career, he was fortunate to travel the world, including frequent trips to Europe, Russia, Philippines, and Singapore.
He met Rita in Pittsburgh and prided himself his entire life for his “instantaneous recognition” of Rita as his life partner on their first date.They married in 1960. Together, they raised and loved their children, John Michael and Jennifer. They welcomed their daughter-in-law Deborah Kampmeier and her daughter Sophia Oppenheim into their family as well as their son-in-law John F. Svolos and their grandchildren Zachary and Natalie. He was the best husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather anyone could ask for.
John Patrick is a past Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Boston and past President of the Cleveland Chemical Association. He suggested and helped organize the first Alliance Française in Naperville, IL and served on the boards of St. Robert’s Country Day School, Andover, MA, and the Alliance Française, Doylestown, PA. He wrote an abridged translation (from English into French) of George Wilson’s biography of Stephen Girard, America’s first great benefactor. A copy of his translation is now in the Bordeaux, France library, Girard’s birthplace.
After retirement, John Patrick Roche continued to develop his interests in the French language, genealogy, poker, and writing. He wrote three books, The Streets Where I Lived, Jacky Stories, and a forthcoming collection of haiku. John Patrick also volunteered to help Korean immigrants learn English and helped introduced them to America. It was among his favorite volunteer activities.
John Patrick and his wife Rita relocated to Barrington, IL to be near their grandchildren. Throughout many moves, they continued old and new interests together with their children, including golf, tennis, fine arts, symphony orchestras, theater, dining out, museums and, of course, world travel. Paris and Cape Cod, anytime!
He was a long-time member of the Barrington Writers Group and a regular contributor to the Garlands Gazette newsletter. He will long be remembered for his love of his family; his positive spirit; his dedication to his wife, children, and grandchildren; his profound kindness; his sense of humor; his poker playing; and his love of wine, chocolate, friends, and happy times together.
Visitation will be held at 9:30 am until the time of Mass at 11 am, Monday, January 7, 2019 at St. Anne Catholic Community, 120 N. Ela Street, Barrington.