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John Robert (Bob) Roth


1941 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
John Robert (Bob) Roth Obituary
July 15, 1941 - July 13, 2016 John Robert (Bob) Roth, 74, of Hacienda Heights, CA, passed away on July 13, 2016, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Born July 15, 1941, to parents Robert Carl and Mary Agnes Roth, Bob grew up in Abington, PA, along with sister Patricia Ann and brother Ralph Wesley. During his junior year of high school, his family moved to Newark Valley, NY, where he made lifelong friends at and graduated from Newark Valley Central School. He attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, where he was an active member of Delta Kappa Kappa and met his future wife, Marilyn Rae Burkell. In March 1964, Bob and Marilyn married in Waterloo, NY; a few months later, Bob graduated with his B.S. in Education. After an initial stint as an insurance agent, in September 1966 Bob began Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. On February 2, 1967, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. A born tinkerer, Bob first served on repair ships based in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Then, from August 1968 to September 1969, Bob served aboard the U.S.S. Benewah (APB-35) in Vietnam, which provided support to the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. Bob was awarded 7 decorations for his service on the Benewah, including the Navy Achievement Medal (Combat V) and the Combat Action Ribbon. In November 1969, he was discharged at the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2); 3 months later, while in the active reserve, he was promoted to full Lieutenant (O-3). In 1970, Bob and Marilyn settled in Hacienda Heights, CA, and Bob returned to the insurance profession. From 1971 to 1981, he was a partner in Davidson, Pierson, and Roth Inc.; in 1981, he struck out on his own, forming Rothco Insurance Service Inc. Known to one underwriter as "The Little Agent with the Big Accounts," Bob specialized in extremely high risk liability and workers' compensation accounts. When the work day was through, Bob and Marilyn indulged their shared passion for yachting and cruiser navigation contests as long-time members of the California Yacht Club and Southern California Cruiser Association; Bob was also a licensed ham radio operator and an avid photographer. Proud alumni of SUNY Oswego, he and Marilyn sponsored 5 scholarships at their alma mater. Bob's parents, sister, and brother predeceased him. His wife of 50 years, Marilyn, passed away in August 2014. He is survived by nephews Bill (Amy), Toby (Monica), Sean (Indy), Charles, Brian, and Jeffrey; nieces Kathy (Todd) and Jennifer; and his grandnephews and grandnieces. Bob will be remembered for his enthusiasm for life, his love of a ship's engine room, and his great rumbling laugh. A Celebration of Life ceremony with family and close friends will be held on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Oswego College Foundation Inc.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 16 to July 17, 2016
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