Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home
11801 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32223
(904) 288-0025
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ROACH William James Roach, 88, of Jacksonville, passed away on May 17, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was born on April 1, 1925 in Summit, New Jersey to the late Phillip Victor and Ada Mae (Wagner) Roach. He was reared in White Plains, New York, and was graduated from White Plains High School. He earned his B. A. at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his Masters in Journalism at the University of Georgia. In 1943, Bill enlisted in the Navy, where he met Dorothy Marie Christopher, a Yeoman First Class. They married August 25, 1946, and enjoyed 65 years together until her death, March 5, 2011. He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War and retired as a Commander in 1983 after 40 years of service in the Navy and Navy Reserve. He was an instructor in the Naval Correspondents Training Schools in Chicago, Illinois, and later founded the journalism department at Good Counsel College (now the College of White Plains) in New York, where taught for ten years. In 1973, he joined the then-Department of Languages and Literature at the University of North Florida to help create the communications program and to reach out to Jacksonville's many communications businesses and professionals. He did this with distinction, and the program flourished, paving the way to becoming a major-and today as UNF's largest program. From 1973 to 1990, he taught the entire curriculum of journalism and public relations at UNF, where he taught for 17 of his 30 years in university classrooms. One of his numerous accomplishments was forming the school s first student newspaper, The Halyard and later, The Spinnaker. Also, in 1984, the national Public Relations Society of America bestowed upon his class of advanced public relations writing students, the PRSA's most prestigious honor, the Silver Anvil Award. At the time, they were the only educational group ever to win the award, and their competition included the country s largest public relations firms in New York and Chicago. The honor was in recognition of his students' plan for the city s then new Keep Jacksonville Beautiful campaign. Bill published more than 150 magazine articles, most with his own photography. He was also a prolific book reviewer for the Florida Times-Union and the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, among others. Along with being a reporter, columnist and editor for daily newspapers, and an extensive public relations career, he was also active in the Boy Scouts of America as a Scout Master for over a decade, and an Eagle Scout himself He was a member of several organizations: The College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), MENSA, and the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville, to name just three. Bill is survived by his daughters, Sharon Eileen Young and Patricia Lee Holley; his grandchildren, Raymond E. Walker and Christina M. McEuen, Kate Lynn Wilkins, and Jennifer C. Young; his great-grandchildren, William McEuen, Jeffrey McEuen, Trystan Walker, Ayden Walker, Lucas D'Avignon and Levi D'Avignon. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 25th at St. Joseph's Historic Church, 4152 Loretto Rd. Jacksonville, with the Rev. Dan Cody as Celebrant, followed by interment in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made in memory of William to the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223. www.hgmandarin.com (904) 288-0025 Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on May 23, 2013
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