Joseph was a kind man with a big heart

Bray People - - NEWS -

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.

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