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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Farewell, Friend

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 69-year-old John Barry Roche, who owned Roche's Towing in International Falls, MN. He passed away on July 10.

Here's his obituary from The Journal:

John Barry Roche, 69, of International Falls, died Saturday, July 10, 2010, at Rainy Lake Medical Center.

John was born June 9, 1941, in International Falls. He was a lifelong resident of the Falls and graduated with the Class of 1959.

He married the former Mary Lee Weum on July 8, 1961, in Littlefork, Minn.

He worked for Tollefsrud’s Builders and did construction work before starting Roche Oil Co. in 1969. After selling the oil company in 1997, he started Six R’S d.b.a. Roche’s Towing, which the family is still running.

John, who was known to many as the world’s best wrecker driver, and to his great-grandchildren as Double G John and Fishing Grandpa, loved spending time with his family and attending the many activities and sporting events that they were involved in. John was a practical joker and loved having fun. He enjoyed fishing, car racing, playing cards, traveling, and snowmobiling.

John was also community minded and was active in the Lions Club, serving as president and secretary in the past. He was also awarded the Melvin Jones Leadership Award by the Lions. He and his family were active with the MS Society and participated in several MS Walks and fundraisers. He was a senior volunteer driver and was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Joseph and Mary (Waldbillig) Roche; sister, Colleen Gray; stepfather, Charlie Stuart; his uncle, Ed Waldbillig who helped raise John; and stepsister, Shirley Larocke.

John is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter, Tammy (Wayne) Roche of Minneapolis; son, John K. (fiancĂ©e Jill) of the Falls; daughter, Dr. Brenda “Binkie” (John A.) Roche of Billings, Mont.; son, Rick (Gina) Roche of the Falls; 13 grandchildren and 11 1⁄2 great-grandchildren; brother, Kevin (Karen) Roche of Virginia, Minn.; sister, Kathy (Gary) Bergmann of Golf Port, Ala.; stepbrother, Alan (Donnas) Stuart; mother-in-law, Christine Weum; brothers-in-law, David (Judy) Weum, Leroy Weum and Chuck (Helen) Bly; and sister-in-law, JoAnn (Floyd) Gustafson.

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