Jerome Walter Roeske

October 1, 1935October 14, 2021

Jerome (fondly nicknamed “Papa Jay”) was born on October 1, 1935 to mother Eleanor and father Dr. Walter in Detroit, Michigan.

He lost his father at a young age of 13 and helped to support his family through the early years. He was a great athlete playing both football and baseball in high school where he excelled academically, class President for 3 years and was elected captain of his Servite High School football team. In his senior year the football team won a City Championship. Jerome was also awarded the "General Excellence Award." He was so proud of that honor and his children were also well versed about it until the day he died.

In 1953, he met the love of his life, Jane McAninch (who he lovingly nicknamed “Baby Jane”). They later married, raised 6 children and were inseparable until Jane passed away in 2003. The early times were both challenging and fun as they raised a large family in Detroit.

Jerome received his undergraduate degree from Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in 1958 and a Master of Arts (Education) from the University of Michigan in 1961. After graduating college Jay was hired by the Fitzgerald School District as a fifth grade teacher. He was quickly promoted to principal in 1964 to Westview Elementary School and later Schoefield. Mr. Roeske, as he was known, was loved by students, parents, teachers and co-workers. He was also a member of the Fitzgerald Golf League.

He was a strong Catholic who supported the local St Brendan's Church over the many years they lived in Detroit. He was coach of the St. Brendan's men’s softball team where his family and neighborhood friends participated in many winning seasons. They could often be seen celebrating a win by singing “Blueberry Hill” together at the Cadieux Cafe.

Jay also was proud to be an usher at St. Peters Church where he proudly wore his cranberry jacket and silver name tag. He was a very religious man and lived his faith. Jay also supported the Church by starting and hosting fundraising Euchre parties every week. He created the famous “Papa Jay Primer” that was used as the template for helping families and friends learn the rules of the game. Later, he started a Euchre beginner class in Clinton, Twp.

Jerome loved the University of Michigan and religiously watched their football games. The family would typically host Saturday parties celebrating the wins especially over Ohio State. He promoted the “Go Blue” slogan all through his life and indoctrinated his grandchildren with the same love for U of M football. He was a strong patriarch of his family, a good friend to all, a man who would give his shirt for a friend. He was a good father who always took care of his children and did the best he could to teach and guide them, a loving grandfather and great-grandfather as well.

Jerome was a strong, kind, gentle, patient, just a good man. He is loved and will be missed by many! He is preceded in death by parents, Eleanor and Walter, wife Jane, brother Paul and son-in-law Ken Garant.

Jerome is survived by children; Cathy Garant, Karen Murray (Mark), Cynthia Stapleton (John), Michael Roeske (Suzanne), Thomas Roeske (Jennifer), and Mark Roeske (Nicole); Grandchildren including Christine (Nicholas), Paul (Sydney), Kelly, Jack, Ryan, Michael, Nicholas, Austin, Mitchell, Allison, Nicole, Connor, Grace and Mason; Great-Grandchildren including Dexter, Windsor, Beatrice, Vincenzo, Delilah, and Holland; sister Mary Laurencelle (Brian); a host of nieces, nephews and other beloved friends and relatives.

Visitation will be held at A.H. Peters in Grosse Pointe Woods from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21st. Instate starts at 9:00 a.m. Friday October 22 at St Peters Church in Mt. Clemens. Mass will follow at 9:30 a.m. A final blessing will be held at Resurrection Cemetery located in Clinton, Twp. after Mass.

Following the memorial, everyone is invited to a celebration of life located at Fern Hill Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your favorite charity in honor of Jerome and his family.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, October 22, 2021


Jerome Walter Roeske

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Oparka

October 27, 2021

Mr. Roeske (Jay) was a wonderful person to work for.
I was a teacher and he was the principal at Schofield Elementary School back in the 80’s and 90’s.
He was always there to help me with all of the challenges that we had at the time!
He was a true gentleman and someone I always looked up to for guidance in my career!
My heart goes out to his family and friends! 🙏

Ernie & Coralynn Williams

October 22, 2021

Today was a real Celebration Funeral! We are sure Papa Jay was watching and thinking with pride what a great family he had raised.
Was amazing the amount of people who came to be with his family and say Goodbye to one of a kind!
Our sincere condolences to the whole family, with Love!
Ernie & Coralynn

Dave Ignasiak

October 21, 2021

During family gatherings back in the day, Jerome would always take time to talk us kids. Did not realize he lost his father at a young age like we lost our Father as well. Nothing but fond memories. Comfort and sincere condolences to his entire family.

Sue and Chris Hastings

October 21, 2021

Love all the great pictures. Thank you for sharing. Such a fun loving family. What wonderful memories. Papa Jay had a remarkable life. He will be missed. Our heartfelt condolences to all the Roeske family.

Matt Makowski

October 18, 2021

Jay was a wonderful friend and beloved member of the Clinton Township Senior Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Bill Lord

October 17, 2021

Have known Pappa J for many many years thru John. From day 1 and throughout the many years Pappa J never changed. He was always smiling, serving others, and would listen to anyone that needed a listener. A very gentle man who raised an awesome family!! This world was blessed with Pappa J for 86 years it is now his time to be with the Lord and spend eternity in peace!! Thank you for being part of my life.
Linda and I send our condolences to the Roeske family.

Carol & Tom Urbain

October 17, 2021

Cindy and family
We were so sad to hear of your Dads passing. He was by far the nicest man ever. Everyone loved him especially all the kids he came in contact with. He was Papa J to everyone. Now he is in his heavenly home next to his beautiful wife .
Prayers for all who miss him❤️