Captain Edward Patrick "Pat" Rotchford, (USMC retired) 83, died peacefully surrounded by family on Nov. 20, 2013, at his home. Pat was preceded in death by the love of his life, Ila Jane Bennett Rotchford. Those left to carry on without them are their children, Clifford, Edward (Jane), Joseph (Laura) of Swansboro, Mary (Steve) of Virginia, Ruth of Maryland, Ann (Bill) of Okinawa and Paul (Missy) of Nags Head, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Christmas Cheer or St. Mildred's Building Fund. Electronic condolences can be left for the family at Jonesfh.org.
"A Tribute to Our Father"
To honor his dying wish there isn't any "fluffy" stuff in his obituary - or at least we kept it to a minimum. After 23 years of service to his country, our father, as many Marines, volunteered his time to making our community a better place. Upon retirement, he spent years teaching math at Infant of Prague Catholic School in the 1970s. A devoted member of the parish, he served on the parish board, was a Eucharistic minister and administered the outreach fund helping families in the church and community pay their bills. If there was a project to help the less fortunate, our father was always willing to lend a helping hand.
Until his stroke he spent his Christmas seasons make sure the underprivileged children in Onslow County had presents through Christmas Cheer. He also worked countless hours at the thrift store to help Infant of Prague fund their programs to help the poor. In 2001, the Jacksonville/Onslow Volunteer Center created "The Ila and Pat Rotchford Exemplary Dedication Award" in honor of "this special couple whose dedication to each other and to their faith and family are the only forces stronger than their dedication to community, causes and efforts."
We appreciate your heartfelt sorrow, but our loss is heaven's gain. He has been waiting for this day to be reunited with his greatest love since our Mother died. If we follow the great example they set for us, we will see them there.
A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29 at St. Mildred's Catholic Church in Swansboro followed by a celebration lunch at the church uniting his many friends.