March 26, 1933 – February 18, 2021
John Gipson Roach left this earth February 18, 2021. Born in Dallas March 26, 1933 to loving parents Bess and Douglas Roach, longtime residents of University Park in Dallas. His adored sister, Mary Beth Roach, was always by his side growing up.
John graduated from Highland Park High School in 1951 and while there he lettered in track, basketball and football. He then earned a scholarship to play football at SMU where he played defensive back, punter and quarterback. While at SMU he met and married his wife of many years Patsy McKenzie from Tyler.
In 1956, he was drafted 3rd round by the Chicago Cardinals, where he played one year before serving in the U. S. Air Force for two years. He then played for the St. Louis Cardinals as their starting quarterback for one year before playing three years with the Green Bay Packers who won two NFL Championships under Vince Lombardi in 1961 and 1962.
He then retired from professional football, but was called to play one more year with the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry. John remains the only person to have played football for the Highland Park Scots, SMU Mustangs and Dallas Cowboys.
While working at Murray Investment Company he became President and later started his own successful development company. During that time he served as mayor of University Park from 1988-1992. In 2006 he was selected as one of three Distinguished Alumni from Highland Park High School. In 2008 the John Roach Track at Germany Park was christened in his honor for his many contributions to the city.
His greatest enjoyment in life came from being outdoors while working on his beloved East Texas lake property. He planted many wonderful trees and hundreds of blooming plants, thus creating the beautiful place it became.
He was a man of integrity, humble, kind, loving and a gentleman who wore many hats and wore them all well. As a small boy, when asked, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” to which he replied “I want to be a plain man like my daddy”. He was anything but that.
He is predeceased by sister Mary Beth Bradley and is survived by his wife Patsy, son Doug Roach and wife Randa, and daughter Kaki Roach. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Ken McKenzie, nieces Danielle McKenzie and Michelle McKenzie Leftwich and husband Nyle Leftwich, niece Elizabeth Gunther, nephews Van and Doug Bradley, their spouses, children and grandchildren all of whom he dearly loved.
From early childhood and throughout his entire life, John loved and honored his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with whom he now rests forever.
A private family memorial will be at his beloved lake home at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Highland Park Education Foundation, 4201 Grassmere Lane, Dallas, TX 75205 or to the charity of your choice.