Philip "Smiley" A LaRoche
February 4, 1935 – August 25, 2019
Philip Arthur LaRoche, 84, of West Yarmouth, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Sunday, August 25, 2019. He was the beloved husband of Stephanie (Kubiac) LaRoche for 56 years.
Phil was born and raised in Fitchburg, MA, the son of the late Louis J. and Dorothy E. (Irish) LaRoche. A graduate of Fitchburg High School and a proud US Navy Korean War veteran, Phil went on to study at Fitchburg State University where he met his beloved Stephanie and became a math teacher. Known as “Smiley” in his college days, Phil had the biggest grin this side of the Sagamore Bridge. At family gatherings, he loved to share a good story or tell a well-timed joke, and when he smiled, you couldn’t help smile with him.
When Phil and Stephanie summered on Cape Cod during their college years, they got sand between their toes and in 1969 made Hyannis their home for the next 40 years.
Phil taught mathematics for 35 years with the majority of his career at Mattacheese Middle School and Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School. He retired in 1998.
Whether sailing on the bay, flying the ultralight aircraft he built, or teaching algebra and geometry, Phil was the captain of his own ship. A self-taught, do-it-yourself kind of guy, Phil could fix or build pretty much anything he set his mind to, including designing his own home.
Fascinated by the animal kingdom, Phil’s idea of a good time was watching a lion hunt on Animal Planet or just sitting on the deck drinking his coffee and watching the birds and wildlife.
For the last 18 years, Phil and Stephanie wintered in Lake Worth, FL where Phil enjoyed playing poker with the guys and flipping hamburgers at the community BBQs.
A loyal and devoted husband and father, Phil valued his family most of all. He was happiest when we were all gathered around the table laughing and playing games together.
In addition to his wife Stephanie, Phil is survived by his children Jeffrey P. LaRoche, Gregory J. LaRoche and his wife Laura Snyder, Stephanie Shreya L. LaRoche and her husband Chris, his sister Sharon (LaRoche) Upton and her husband Dennis, sister-in-law Elaine (Gay) LaRoche (wife of his late brother Lawrence) and his 6 cherished grandchildren Kasha, Skylar, Max, Katharine, Cole and Thea. He is also survived by 13 wonderful nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will take place Monday, September 2nd 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable, 3330 Main St., Barnstable, MA 02630 followed by a Committal Service with US Navy military honors at Mosswood Cemetery, 280 Putnam Ave., Cotuit, MA 02635.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/about-us/local/massachusetts.html.
- American Cancer Society
- Funeral Service Monday, September 2, 2019
- Committal Service with Military Honors Monday, September 2, 2019
Philip "Smiley" A LaRoche
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September 9, 2019
I moved to Yarmouth in 8th grade, started a little later in the Fall and Mr. LaRoche was very welcoming...I will never forget his great sense of humor and that huge grin! He loved the overhead projector and writing on the slides...he was a great teacher and just a very good guy that I am sure will be missed!
August 30, 2019
I so enjoyed working with Phil at D-YRHS. That smile was always uplifting. RIP, Phil.