A Certain Taste in Shoes
He was very cute. And charming. An athletic six feet, 200 pounds.
But those white Capezios he was wearing had to go.
Isabel Roach didn't change much about her husband, Stephen L. Roach, when they were married 16 years ago. She likes to say that she "polished him up a bit." And she definitely changed his taste in shoes.
They met in Washington. Both were academic interns at the Washington Center, which arranges internships for college students in the public and private sectors. Mr. Roach, a native Bostonian, went to Washington after he graduated from Anselm College in 1986 hoping to meet the woman of his dreams.
That turned out to be Isabel Blanco, who loved everything about him, except those shoes.
Known as Roachie to family and friends, Mr. Roach had a fine taste in red wines. He and his father-in-law, Luis, made their own wines. Mr. Roach, 36, was vice president and director of sales for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of 1 World Trade Center. Mackenzie, 9, his youngest child, is funny like her father. Eileen, 10, has his smarts. Stephen Jr., 11, his passion for sports. None, so far, have inherited his taste in shoes.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 7, 2001.
Stephen L. of Verona, formerly of Upper Montclair. Husband of Isabel. Father of Stephen L., Jr., Eileen and Mackenzie. Son of Richard and Lian Roach. Brother of Mary Joan Roach, Catherine Mullen, Richard Roach, Geraldine Frey and Patricia Sullivan. Son-in-law of Louis and Mariana Blanco. The family will receive friends and relatives at the Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park St., MONTCLAIR, NJ on Thursday, 3-8. A Mass for the Celebration of Life will be offered on Friday at 4 PM at Immaculate Conception Church, No. Fullerton Ave., Montclair. One of Stephen's last projects was his passionate efforts to raise awareness and funds for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), an extremely rare and unknown disease affecting a close friend of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations in honor of Stephen L. Roach be made to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Development, c/o Weldon FOP Research Fund, 3533 Market St, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
Paid Notice published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on September 19, 2001.
Stephen L. Roach, a quiet humanitarian
To Stephen L. Roach's three young children, he was a hero.
"If he got out of the building, he went back in to save someone's life," said his 9-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.
Mr. Roach, 36, of Verona, was vice president and director of sales for Cantor Fitzgerald Securities' North American division. From his office on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, he called his wife, Isabel, on her cell phone for the last time Sept. 11.
Mrs. Roach said the message said he loved her and their children. "Save this message forever," was her husband's instructions.
"He was a hero," said his daughter, Eileen, 10. "He was one that always liked to be challenged. He always wanted to go onto the next level."
That challenging spirit took him to high-level positions with major financial institutions including Garband, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. and Merrill Lynch. For the past six years he worked at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Mr. Roach was born in Boston, Mass., and graduated from Anselm College in New Hampshire in 1986. He met his wife of 16 years at the Washington Center in Washington, D.C., where they both had academic internships.
"My husband was about doing for others, making a difference in others' lives. He was generous not only with his money, but also with his time," Mrs. Roach said.
Mr. Roach's philanthropic endeavors included the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. But most recently he was involved in raising awareness of fibrodysplasa ossificans progressiva, a rare genetic disorder that causes bone to form in muscles and other connective tissues. A child of a close friend had been struck with the disorder.
Mr. Roach was an avid golfer and sports enthusiast. He was an assistant coach for the Verona's boys basketball and baseball team, where his son, Stephen Jr., played.
"He didn't' care about winning," said Stephen Jr. "He cared that everyone had a fun time and that everyone played."
Besides his wife and children, Mr. Roach is survived by his parents, Richard and Lian Roach; a brother, Richard and four sisters, Mary Jane Roach, Catherine Mullen, Geraldine Frey and Patricia Sullivan.
A Mass will celebrated Friday at 4 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church in Montclair.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center Development, c/o Weldon FOP Research Fund, 3533 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104.
Profile by Reginald Roberts published in THE STAR-LEDGER.