Joseph was a kind man with a big heart
THE death occurred on Saturday, July 15, of Joseph Francis (Joe) Roche in his 99th year.
Born on 11 March 1919, Joe was Dunlavin’s oldest and proudest resident. His life’s journey began in Usk where he was the youngest of nine children – seven boys and two girls.
In the late 1930s, Joe obtained a position in Irish Life Insurance, a job he loved and remained in until his retirement. During his career, he travelled extensively throughout Wicklow and Kildare and he was much respected for his work and the assistance and guidance that he gave people in the community.
In 1947, Joe married Shiela Nicholson, a native of Roscommon. Shortly afterwards, the couple moved into a premises in Main Street, Dunlavin, which became the family home for their two children, Audrey and Oliver. In addition, to his insurance affairs, Joe and his wife ran a highly-successful drapery business from there.
In latter years, when the couple’s son qualified as a pharmacist, the drapery shop became Roche’s Pharmacy and Oliver continued to work there for a further 47 years, up until his own retirement in September 2016.
Joe was always a deeply religious man with firm Christian values. He became one of the first Eucharistic Ministers in St Nicholas of Myra Church in Dunlavin.
A great outdoors person, Joe enjoyed fishing, shooting and gardening. He was also an avid golfer who was a member of Baltinglass Golf Club for many years. Trips down memory lane with him would inevitably include talk of local people such as Jimmy Corrigan, Fr Joe Whittle, Harry Bagnell, Paddy Fleming, Jim Higgins, Martin Douge and Tom O’Neill NT – all of whom he shared good company and good times with.
In his later years, Joe was a resident in Knockeen Nursing Home in Wexford where he received tremendous care and attention from Mary Doran and all the staff there.
Recognition and huge thanks must also go to his extended family and the loyal core of good friends and neighbours who regularly visited and corresponded with him over the years.
Joe was a soft man with a big heart and an even bigger smile.
All who knew him spoke of his wonderful sense of humour and his ability to always have a wry comment at the ready.
He was not without his sorrows in life, having been pre-deceased by his six brothers and two sisters (one of whom died as Sr Brendan in an enclosed convent in Australia).
He also lost his dear wife Shiela in 1981 and his beloved daughter Audrey in 2009. Over the years, he also lost many nieces and nephews and very close friends. Joe dealt with these matters in a dignified and very spiritual fashion. He was a quiet, mild-mannered, unassuming man who succeeded in making a huge impact on many people that he came in contact with over his long life.
His funeral Mass took place in St Nicholas of Myra Church in Dunlavin on July 17, after which he was buried in the local cemetery.
He is sadly missed by his son Oliver and partner Mary, his grandchildren (Natasha, Naomi, Niall and Simon), his great-grandchildren, his nieces and nephews, his friends and neighbours and his ‘extended family’ in Knockeen Nursing Home. The Roche family has extended its thanks to all at Knockeen Nursing Home for the love and care given to Joe throughout the years and for their help and participation at his wake and funeral.
A Thiarna déan trócaire ar a anam.
The late Joseph Roche.