Rhea B. Roche, 92, of Wooster, died peacefully at LifeCare Hospice of Wooster on Thursday, July 12, 2018.
Rhea was born November 25, 1925, in Orwell, New York, to Earl and Clarice Mae Noble. She graduated from Sandy Creek High School in 1943 and the Central City Business Institute in Syracuse, NY, in 1945. In the early years of her marriage, she was employed at the Hermann M. Briggs Memorial Hospital in Ithaca, NY.
She married Edward H. Roche on July 10, 1947, in Pulaski, NY. They settled in Syracuse while Ed was enrolled at Syracuse University. They lived in Ithaca and Syracuse, NY; Madison, WI; and Falls Church, VA, before moving to Wooster in December 1964. They had four children.
Rhea was a member of the Welcome Wagon committee and the Viola Thorne Club. She volunteered with People-to-People and the Wayne County Republican Committee for many years. In addition, Rhea was a faithful member of the St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for almost 54 years.
During their early years in Wooster, Ed and Rhea were members of a big-band dance group and bowled in a bowling league (she was quite proud of her high score 232!).
After Ed s retirement, Rhea took up a new hobby and learned to play the dulcimer. She was a member of a Wayne County dulcimer club for many years and enjoyed her gigs at libraries, fairs, and nursing homes. She also had a flair for painting as well as playing the piano, and enjoyed reading and watching classic movies.
Rhea and Ed shared a long and active retirement, visiting friends, family, and historic sites. Rhea traveled to every state but Alaska, and together Rhea and Ed visited eleven countries around the world. She had particularly fond memories of their journeys to Ireland, England, Belgium, and Holland.
Rhea s greatest joy was always her family, with whom she loved to spend time. She made motherhood her career: she had at least one child living at home for 34 years. Nevertheless, Rhea never missed a sporting event, play, band concert, or any other event that her children had. (They marvel that, although her memory never faded, she never seemed to remember any of the bad stuff they did only the good!) In later years Rhea loved to hear all about her grandchildren s adventures; she was very proud of all of them. Her children all enjoyed accompanying Rhea on countless trips to places near and far. She was a very gentle and thoughtful person whose quiet nature belied her fun-loving spirit. Rhea never had a cross word for anyone, and her dry wit, kindheartedness, and loving nature will be greatly missed by all.
Rhea was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ed, in 2010; her brothers, Rex and Malcolm; several brothers- and sisters-in-law; and nephews Bill and Matt. She is survived by her son, Peter (Kathy) of Powell, OH; daughters, Michele Fakan (Brian) of Hinckley, OH, Colleen Roche (Greg Schlapp) of Dobbs Ferry, NY, and Annette Wenda (Dave) of St. Augustine, FL; five grandchildren, Ean (Megan), Erin, and Eric Fakan and Ethan and Sarah Schlapp; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would also like to express its warmest gratitude to Rhea s many friends and the assisted living staff at West View Healthy Living in Wooster for the love and comfort they provided in the final sixteen months of her life.
A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, July 18, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster, with the Reverend Stephen Moran officiating.
The family will receive friends in the church immediately following the service.
Private burial services will be held at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville on Thursday, July 19.
McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family
Online expressions of condolence may be left at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, 215 S. Walnut St., Wooster, OH 44691; St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691; Meals on Wheels of Stark and Wayne Counties, 2363 Nave Rd. SE, Massillon, OH 44646; or a charity of your choice.
Memorial contributions may be made to the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, 215 S. Walnut St., Wooster, OH 44691; St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691; Meals on Wheels of Stark and Wayne Counties, 2363 Nave Rd. SE, Massillon, OH 44646; or a charity of your choice
A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, July 18, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster,
The family will greet friends following the service at the church