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H. Robert Roche
September 14, 1932 ~ November 1, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
5 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of H. Robert's family - View on Tribute Wall
H. Robert Roché died peacefully on November 1, 2023, at Joe Raso Hospice battling prostate cancer.
Bob was born in Dublin, Ireland to Mary Anne Murphy Roché and Thomas Edward Roché on September 14, 1932. Bob was a big brother to sister Rita four years his younger. Thomas and Mary Anne Murphy emigrated to the United States before their marriage and the family lived in several locations in the tri-state area.
He attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx where he excelled in athletics, playing quarterback for their football team, competed in track and field events winning numerous medals and played baseball both at Cardinal Hayes and Randall’s Island Baseball League.
He was drafted into the US Army in 1953 serving two-years of peacekeeping efforts in Munich Germany. He was member of Tank Company 12 where he was a tank driver and in the Officers Entertainment Corp as a lead vocalist.
His higher education consisted of attending the Academy of Aeronautics and obtaining an Aircraft Design Certification in 1958. While working at Kaman Aircraft in Connecticut, he graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962. In 1969, he obtained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Bridgeport.
In 1955, Bob met Jean at Amoco in Manhattan where they were both employed. It was love at first sight for Bob. He was dared by a colleague to ask her out and to everyone’s surprise she accepted. Bob gleefully won the $5 bet. Jean had many suitors, but Bob was victorious because of his good Catholic upbringing, intelligent mind, love of opera, his tenor voice and his twinkling Irish blue eyes.
They were married on September 13, 1958, and had their first of three daughters, Ellen, in August of 1959. Lorraine soon followed in July of 1960. Finally, Roberta was born in March 1963.
After leaving Kaman Aircraft, Bob was employed at Pitney Bowes in Stanford, Connecticut. The Roché family moved to Ramsey, NJ in October 1970 upon Bob’s acceptance of an offer as lead engineer for Royal Litton. His career developed through several companies ultimately becoming head of sales, engineering and manufacturing of special application clutches and brakes. Some of which, he designed for the Space Shuttleand Disney World.
From 1970 through 1993, Bob and Jean were raising their family and were highly active at St. Paul Parish where Bob was the cantor and facilitator of Mens’ Cornerstone. Sadly, in 1989, their daughter Lorraine passed away. Following the marriages of Ellen and Roberta in 1989, Bob and Jean moved to Charlotte, NC where they started their own distribution business for the clutches and brakes industry.
Bob retired at 75 after moving to Williamsburg, VA. In his retirement he continued as a strong leader in St. Olaf’s Parish as a choir member, Eucharistic Minister, RCIA Mentor and starred in and produced local variety theatre in the community.
Bob and Jean moved back to NY in 2015 so they could be close to their daughters and three grandchildren, Peter, Kate and Tommy.
Bob was pre-deceased by his father, Thomas in 1960, his mother Mary Anne in 1975, his daughter Lorraine in 1989 and his sister, Rita in 2021.
He will be remembered and missed for his cheerfulness, kindness, quick wittedness, storytelling and mostly his beautiful Irish tenor voice.