The Rev. James William "J.W." Roach, 89, of Chalk Bluff, Texas, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010, at Providence Health Center in Waco. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 30, at First Baptist Church of Waco, with Dr. Gary Hearon, the Rev. Worth Hewitt, and Dr. Randall Perry officiating. The Rev. David Bolin will be music director for the service. Burial will follow in Moore Cemetery in Chalk Bluff. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, at OakCrest Funeral Home.
J.W. received his Bachelor's of Science from Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, Texas, and did his graduate work at Baylor University. He spent 50 years as an educator and pastor of several churches across the state of Texas, including Texline, Pride, Wells, Splendora, Cleveland, Security, Gholson, Gateway, and Willow Grove. Especially fulfilling to J.W. were the two years he and only five other educators operated the University of Texas pilot program for the education of severely emotionally disturbed students through the Waco Independent School District. He brought an end to his secular career, serving 15 years with the Texas Employment Commission.
In his first pastorate (Texline), he met and married Joan Parks on Sept. 5, 1943. They ministered together for over 66 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed participating in shortwave radio, carrying the call-sign W5AYX. He was a founding member and past president of the Heart of Texas Amateur Radio Club. He enjoyed countless hours participating in passing "traffic messages" around the world for people to their loved ones. He received numerous awards for this service from the American Radio Relay League, the US national organization of Amateur Radio operators. Prior to moving to Waco in the mid-50's, he was active in Kiwanis International. J.W. has been a dynamic member of the First Baptist Church of Waco for the past 20 years since his retirement from the full-time ministry. He and Joan were selected Senior Adults of the Year in 2004, and J.W. has faithfully taught Sunday School in the Louis-Edwards class for the last 10 years. His greatest joy has been watching and participating in the lives of his three grandsons, and baptizing them upon their professions of faith.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Elmer, Frank, Finis; and sister, Gertrude.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; son, Marvin Roach and wife, JoEllen; grandsons, Thomas, Matthew, and Nathan Roach, all of Waco; dear in-laws, Herbert and LaDelle Stobbe, of Leroy; and nieces, Billie Glover and husband, Carl, of Mesquite, Nev., Carolyn Thomas and husband, George, of Georgetown, Texas, Denise Haynes, of Pampa, Texas, Debra Githens, of Hinton, Okla.; and numerous cousins.
Waco Tribune-Herald: 1/28/2010 - 1/29/2010...I5
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