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Metcalf Funeral Directors

1801 East White Oak Terrace, Conroe, TX

OBITUARY

James Michael Roach

April 2, 1958January 16, 2020
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James Michael Roach, 61, passed away Thursday, January 16, 2020 while on assignment in Maputo, Mozambique. Jim was larger than life and his loss will be felt across the world.

James was born April, 02, 1958, in Ottumwa, IA to Maurice Urban Roach and Betty Mosinski Roach. He graduated from The University of Iowa with a BBA in Accounting in 1979 and later graduated law school at The University Of Houston College of Law in 1982. He was a CPA and a licensed Lawyer in the state of Texas. Jim’s thirst for knowledge did not stop there and he went back to school not once but twice after joining the work force. He received his LLM in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 1991 and completed a Corporate Finance Program at the London Business School in 2004.

James began his nearly 38 year career with ExxonMobil as a legal assistant in Houston TX after graduating Law School. He rose through the ranks as a Tax Attorney in Houston, TX, including a brief spell in New Jersey, until 1989 when he had the chance to move to London, England for his first of six expat assignments that spanned over four continents. Over the next two decades, Jim had the privilege to work as Tax Manager in Norway, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and England. After spending roughly 12 years in various positions back in Texas, James couldn’t turn down the opportunity for 1 more overseas assignment, including one more continent. As Business Services Manager in Maputo, Mozambique, James was given the privilege to build the Mozambique branch from the ground up with close friends and coworkers. Instrumental in acquiring the site for the future Exxonmobil building in Maputo, his legacy will continue.

As a strong believer in education, James continued to give back to the academic community in anyway he could. This was especially important to him as he and Carol both received the same scholarship in back to back years, which enabled them to attend the University of Iowa. While it was fulfilling to donate funds, which he did through the James and Carol McTee Roach Family Scholarship at the University of Iowa and the James Roach Scholarship for Excellence at the University of Houston, James found it much more rewarding to give his time, effort, energy and emotions. In 2016, James was recognized for this by becoming the first corporate lawyer to receive the Dean’s Award from the University of Houston Law Center. In 2019, he received the Law Fund Volunteer Award for his efforts in raising funds for the UH Law Center. In addition, he was a director of the Houston Law Foundation board as well as the Vice President of the U.S. International Fiscal Association for the Houston Region. As the first member of the cornerstone club, James was able to be the first donor toward the new University of Law School Center. Adding to their legacy, James and Carol have additionally donated a lounge in the new building at the University of Houston Law School and an art room at Sam Houston State University new art complex.

James enjoyed hunting, fast cars, motorcycles, Chelsea football and most importantly spending time with family and friends. Having such a large personality, James was always working the room wherever he went, whether it was a business or social event. James loved people and never met a stranger in his life. A run in with a stranger anywhere could turn into an all night event or a lifetime friendship. A true believer in “Work Hard, Play Hard”, James gave 100% in everything he did and was always scheming of ways to help and challenge people. His strong work ethic began as a teenager and continued throughout his life. At age 16, he worked over 40 hours a week as a Produce Manager while maintaining the grades to graduate as Valedictorian from Fairfield High School.

James was preceded in death by his father, Maurice Urban Roach and his sister, Carolyn Ann Roach. James is survived by his mother Betty, wife Carol, brother John, three sisters, Marilyn, Marriane and Maureen, son Christopher & his better half Andrea, daughter Chelsea & son in law Andre, with two grandchildren Annasophia and Isabella.

Funeral services will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, TX. A closed casket visitation at the church will begin at an hour before the Funeral Mass. A reception at the church will follow after the ceremony.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the Roach family by clicking the "Add a Memory" tab.

Services

  • Celebration Mass Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Memories

James Michael Roach

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Jane Leu-Garretson

January 30, 2020

So very sorry to hear of Jim's passing, way too young!! Many fond memories of Jim and John from Easter's and working with Leo...loved Maurice and Betty!! My sincere sympathies to the entire family!

Leigh Byrne

January 30, 2020

I met Jim when he was working in the UK and I am so thankful that our paths crossed many times since and I had the chance to get to know him. Whenever Jim walked into a room he would fill it up with his energy, his drive and his enthusiasm and you just knew you were in the presence of someone very special. He was one of the kindest people I have ever known with a huge heart who wanted everyone to be happy and that, too, is a rare gift. He was just a such a lovely person in every sense and will be truly missed.

Kim Espinosa

January 29, 2020

Papa Roach from the second I met him, was one of the warmest human beings I've ever met. He immediately circled you in with a bright smile and eyes, shedding some of his energy to feed your own. While I only spent Chelsea and Andre's wedding day around him, I could tell his biggest pride was family, good friends and a great time all being together. His sense of humor was amazing! He loved you all fiercely, Roach family. Attached one of my favorite photos of that day. Much love to you all, -Kim

Scott Reneker

January 29, 2020

My sincere condolences to the Jim Roach family.

I also knew Jim as a co-worker at Easter Foods in 1978. I was 16 and he was "older" and impressively smarter. He was our go to guy to ask about anything and everything. Jim knew "stuff" and was not in any way intimidating or superior in attitude about his knowledge. I really liked him.

I remember both he and his brother John having Trans Ams....way cool!

Jim even "trained" me how to do a "second gear scratch" in an old Mustang my Dad had. I executed this scratch on South 2nd street in Fairfield, Iowa where my Grandma Reneker, a witness, later corrected my behavior. :) Oops!

I completely lost track of Jim after he left Easter Foods in the late '70's but I am not in any way surprised that he was successful in his career. That was a given.

May God comfort the Jim Roach Family.

Take Care,

Scott Reneker

steven lamb

January 29, 2020

I'm very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I have many fond memories of Jim growing up in Fairfield and in Iowa City. He was a senior on our high school tennis team and I was a freshman. He absolutely welcomed me on the team and helped me in many ways. Not many seniors would treat a freshman so kindly. Through college we would occasionally have a beer and play pool with friends. He was ALWAYS in a good mood and fun to be with. I'm sure he has had a wonderful and positive influence on many throughout his years. My condolences to family and friends.

Cheryl Carson

January 29, 2020

Dave and Cheryl Carson from Ashtead England UK remember fondly when Jim Carol and Chelsea came to our house many years ago. Jim will be sadly missed in Esso Exxon and throughout the world. A lovely family. We are sorry for your loss.

Myron Gookin

January 29, 2020

Jim...you left us way too soon. Blessings of peace and comfort to Carol and the family.

Brice Stater

January 28, 2020

After Jim went to college, he worked summers at Easter Foods. I had the privilege to work with him on a regular basis, the summer of '79.
I was still in high school. Jim was the older guy!
One day we were working in the back room cutting, and marking stock. Jim cut a box open, then shoved it to me to mark the price on the cans. (Before scanners)
We were working away, not talking much, when Jim said, I ordered a Trans Am. He told me that it was gold with camel interior. All the time Jim was describing the car to me I was thinking to myself, sure Jim, like a gold Trans Am really exists.
I few weeks later I pulled up in my 1978 Ford Pinto, just as Jim pulled up next to me in his beautiful gold Trans Am. The prettiest car I had ever seen. He offered a ride, which I gladly accepted. Sure enough, camel seats. I thought to myself, this is a guy that doesn't make stuff up and a guy that does what he says. I was glad I didn't say something like, sure you did Jim.
Everytime I see a 1978 Gold Trans Am for sale, I can't help but think of Jim.
It was a great summer to be able to hang out with the older guy at Easters.

Adebayo Bodede

January 28, 2020

Jim would be greatly missed. He had such great energy that stirred and directed things in a way to get everyone focused and involved. He wanted things achieved quickly and was very supportive to make it happen. Yet with all that energy and focus, Jim was so nice and friendly. He had time to get to know people and spend time with people and also had a good laugh and smile that made you happy. Jim, I am glad to have met and known you.

David Csapo

January 27, 2020

An infectious laugh, great sense of humor, contagious enthusiasm, Jim was genuine. A genuine friend, genuine work colleague, genuine family man. The sadness of his passing is heartfelt.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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