Gerald Leon Roach
March 22, 1933 – March 17, 2020
Gerald “Jerry” Leon Roach, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away on Monday, March 17, 2020 at San Gabriel Rehabilitation and Care Center in Round Rock, Texas.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Evalyn Roach of Sunnyside, Washington, and his wife, Jan LeVan Roach of Kansas City. He is survived by his daughters, Deborah Roach, Lindsay (Arvid) Hansen, Julie Culler and Margaret Zindle; his brother, Richard (LuAnn) Roach; sister, Shirley (Bill) McCaffrey; and four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jerry was born on March 22, 1933 in Maywood, Nebraska and spent the first 15 years of his life enjoying small-town life in Nebraska. In 1948, his family moved to Willow Springs, Missouri and he graduated from Willow Springs High School in 1950. Jerry enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951 and achieved the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge in 1954. He earned a B.S. degree from Creighton University in 1957, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and Philosophy. After graduation, he worked as a water analyst for the A.O. Smith Corporation in Chicago for 4 years, and then joined the Food and Drug Administration as a chemist in 1963, where his work primarily revolved around pesticide residue analysis. Jerry’s career at the FDA took him from Kansas City to Denver to Buffalo, where he retired from his position as Laboratory Director in 1990. Jerry was a life-long fan of Nebraska Cornhuskers football, faithfully watching them on television or listening on the radio, and attending games when he could. Jerry loved other sports as well, including baseball and hockey, and his personal activities included hunting, fishing, golf and card games. After retirement, he was an avid bridge player, getting out 2-3 times a week to play with other retirees. He was a voracious reader, a life-long learner, a do-it-yourselfer and was especially known for his dry sense of humor. Finally, no story about Jerry’s life would be complete without the telling of his love for music. Although he never had formal training, he sang in various choral groups in high school and at church. Jerry taught himself to play the ukulele and banjo, and would play and sing for family and friends at various gatherings. He also loved to listen to music, both recorded and live performances and passionately praised those whose musical abilities exceeded his own. Music brought him great joy throughout his entire life. We love and miss you Dad, and trust you are singing with the angels now.