James-Roche-Obituary

James K. Roche

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia

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James K. Roche James K. Roche, M.D., Ph.D., passed away on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at his home in Albemarle County from complications of cardiac amyloidosis. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1943, the only child of the late James Norman and Rebecca Pilgram Roche. He grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, graduating from Oakmont High School, class of 1961. His academic journey continued at Dartmouth College, where he majored in Chemistry; the University of Pennsylvania for his medical training; Presbyterian Hospital Pittsburgh for internship; and Duke University for his internal medicine residency, fellowship in Gastroenterology, and Ph.D. in Immunology. Jim met his wife of almost 40 years, Nancy Morgan Roche, on a winter carnival ski trip, while in the Public Health Service at National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. They made their first home in Durham, North Carolina, where their two children were born. After completing his training, Jim joined the Duke University Medical Faculty. In 1987, he accepted an offer as Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia and the family moved to Charlottesville. An academic center energized him and spoke to his never ending desire to learn. Research was a career long calling and in recent years he devoted more and more time to it. He was also known to be a good listener to his patients and always trying to think outside the box. As a lifelong Presbyterian, Jim actively engaged in a church community at each of his stops along the road. He has served the church as an Elder and a Deacon and on many committees and programs. Two special areas of involvement at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville that were of particular meaning to him were the establishment of the Mission Endowment Fund and the creation of Parrish Nurse Program. He also gave countless hours to teaching Sunday School and mentoring youth as they journeyed to membership in the church. In the community, he enjoyed volunteering on Habitat for Humanity builds and at the Free Clinic. A particular passion was his help to create the "Community Partnership for Improved Long Term Care," a committee under the Legal Aid Justice Center that serves as an advocacy group to improve quality of nursing home care, working with both staff and families. He loved family gatherings, which he tried to arrange whenever possible. His avid interest in the outdoors and vegetable gardening was well known among friends and family; and he loved to share his seedlings and produce with neighbors and co-workers. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his son, James and wife, Jen, of Ambler, Pennsylvania; his daughter, Caroline West and husband, Robert, of Nashville, Tennessee; three grandchildren, Jamie and John Roche and Lillian West; two special cousins, Nancy Cameron and her husband, Bill, of Glade Springs, West Virginia, and Marianne Hogg and her husband, Bob Rubin, of State College, Pennsylvania; his mother-in-law, Ruth Morgan of Marlinton, West Virginia; and his sister-in-law, Stephany Morgan of Staunton. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at the Teague Funeral Home A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Dr. David Forney and the Reverend Dr. David Hester of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary officiating. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that gifts in his memory be made to the Mission Endowment Fund, First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or to the Community Partnership for Improved Long Term Care, Legal Aid Justice Center, 1000 Preston Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Friends and family may sign the guestbook at www.teaguefuneralhome. com.


This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.

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I am so sad to learn of Jim Roche's passing, by way of the Duke Alumni Magazine. Jim was a kind, exceptional man who was a role model for those of us in the GI Fellowship program. I worked with him in 1990-91 while at UVA and we often compared notes on our former Duke experience. Our community has lost a true beacon of integrity. My best wishes and prayers go out to his family in their loss.
Charles H. Parker, Jr., MD

I learned of Jim's death only yesterday, when the most recent issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine arrived. I am deeply saddened, and offer my heartfelt condolences to his family. I worked with Jim closely & regularly when I was District Enrollment Director of the Dartmouth Club of Central Virginia. He was an indefatigable enrollment and recruitment worker, with boundless enthusiasm. It was a delight and privilege to know and work with him. He was humble and brilliant at the same time.

I was incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Roche. I worked for him as a technician in his lab for over 3 years in the early 1990s, leaving only when I entered a graduate program. Dr. Roche was the most kind, caring, generous person I have ever met. Every supervisor I have had since is always compared in my mind to him and none have held a candle to him. His kindness and caring nature will always be remembered by me. He truly made a difference in my life and I wish I had the...

I have just learned of Jim's passing. He was our drum major in the Dartmouth College Marching Band, and a beloved college classmate during four memorable years in Hanover, New Hampshire. He will be sadly missed by all Dartmouth '65's.

I worked for Dr. Roche quite a few years ago as his Admin. Asst. I was quite shocked to learn of his passing. My prayers go out to the family.

God Bless and may he be in his final peace.

To the Roche Family, I am really sorry for your lost. I worked with Dr. Roche some time ago, but I remember him well. He was a kind person. I remember his smile the most. May God watch over and bless each of you.
Formerly, Bessie D James.

Nancy, Jimmy and family,
Janet and I were very sadden to learn of Jim's passing. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this most difficult time. We have fond memories of Jim at First Presbyterian and know he set a wonderful examlpe to the many people whose lives he touched. He was a man of faith, family and a support to many friends. We know you all will miss him greatly. In the fellowship of Christ. Janet and Dave Ambruster

To the Roche family words cannot express how I feel DR.Roche was a very sweet and kind person who will be truly missed I will always the memories and kind words he said to me my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Twanda Williams

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