Richard R. Roach, Jr., 77

Richard R. Roach, Jr., age 77, passed away on February 8, 2021.

He was born on July 1, 1943 in El Paso, Texas, Rick spent most of his childhood and school years in Vicksburg, Mississippi and Alamogordo, New Mexico.  In 1961 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and later served in the First Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.  Rick was always proud of his military service and especially his association with The Big Red One. After his military service, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned home and enrolled in the University of New Mexico where he received a degree in journalism.  His newspaper career took him to Florida where he worked for the Lakeland Ledger.  His assignment, covering the courts in Bartow, sparked an interest in the law and he attended Stetson University Law School, earning his law degree in 1976.  Rick returned to Lakeland and practiced personal injury and workers’ compensation law until his retirement. 

Rick was an active member of the Lakeland Rifle and Pistol Club, serving as president twice. He was an accomplished marksman himself and helped establish and teach the club’s junior shooting program.  A Boy Scout in his youth, Rick became a troop leader, mentoring hundreds of scouts and guiding several, including his son, to their Eagle Award. Rick was a member of the executive board of Tri-County Human Services and served as chairman for several years.  He enjoyed sharing his love of country and Constitutional Law with young people and often gave presentations on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Rick had a lifelong passion for reading, writing and traveling.  His journals from his travels in Europe, the Caribbean and throughout North America were as insightful as they were entertaining.  He loved camping, working in his wood-working shop, completing the daily New York Times crossword puzzle and a good glass of red wine.

Rick is preceded in death by his mother, Idalena Myers Roach.  He is survived and will forever be missed by his wife of 41 years, Mary Roehrig Roach; his children, Kristen Roach Harris and her husband Paul Harris of Tregynon, Wales and Clifton Roach of Buffalo Grove, Illinois.  He is also survived by his sister, Cliften Roach Tripp and brother-in-law Philip Tripp along with several nieces, nephews and their families.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family at Central Florida Funeral Chapel