Thomas J. Roche, 74, of Shadyside Road, Findley Lake, N.Y., passed away Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.
He was born June 16, 1946, in Erie, Pa., to the late Paul C. and Margaret "Miggie" Molloy Roche Sr.
Tom was raised in Erie until his sophomore year of high school when he moved to Corry where he graduated from Corry Area High School in 1964. He attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance. Upon graduation, he was certified as a stock broker and was hired at Walston & Company in Washington, D.C. He was the youngest of 2,200 certified stock brokers in the country. In 1970, he moved to Boston, Mass., where he worked at American Equities, selling mutual funds. He then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he continued in the sale of mutual funds. In 1974, Tom joined his family's business, Erie County Plastics, in Corry, Pa., as a sales representative. Continuing with sales, he worked until 1991 as Executive Vice President and Sales Manager.
Tom and Dave Cullen co-founded The Heritage Trust Company. He was a board member from 1992 until it was sold. He also co-founded Thermat Precision Technology in 1995. Co-workers have often said he was a great boss and mentor.
Tom was known for his colorful sweaters, unique fashion sense and his love for Notre Dame. He loved to listen to John Prine with his family … or really with anyone who would listen. He also enjoyed hats, cats, skiing, and social golfing. In 1987 Golf Digest presented him with the award of Most Improved Amateur when "after lessons on course management and relaxation he shaved 14 strokes off his handicap, to become a 22.” He also had a love of architecture and spent many hours choosing plants and flowers to pot and plant around his property, including his beloved waterfall. Tom was also known as the "deck-a-tect" of Findley Lake, designing decks for his neighbors.
He was very active in the Corry and Findley Lake areas. His memberships and board positions in the Corry area included being President since the inception of the Corry Industrial Benefit Association, Advisory Board Member of Impact Corry and Past President and Past Board member of the Corry Area Industrial Development Corporation, Corry YMCA and the Corry Country Club.
Tom's memberships in Findley Lake included President and Board Member since its inception of Findley Lake Community Foundation and Board Member of Findley Lake Watershed Foundation. He was a member of St. Matthias Church in French Creek, N.Y., where he was on the Finance Committee. He helped spearhead the Save Our Fire Department campaign for the Findley Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his sister, Norella Teresa "Terry" Roche.
Tom is survived by his wife of 32 years, Nancy M. Bracken Roche; three daughters, Tracie Setliff of Milwaukee, Wisc.; Alexis Roche McNamara and her husband Will of Sommerville, Mass., and Norella "Ellie" Roche of Findley Lake, N.Y.; a son, Chris Roche and his wife Keeler of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and two brothers, Paul "Hoop" Roche Jr., and his wife Marne of Columbus, Pa., and William Roche and his wife Jane of Corry, Pa.
He is also survived by four grandchildren, Lauren Roche, Madeline, Beatrice and Wynn Setliff. In addition, "Uncle Tom" was a fun loving uncle to his many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends may call at Bracken Funeral Home, 315 N. Center St., Corry, Pa., on Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m., and attend the Funeral Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 203 W. Washington St., Corry, Pa., on Thursday at 11 a.m. The Rev. D.G. Davis III will officiate.
Due to CDC regulations, masks and social distancing will be required.
The Funeral Mass may also be viewed on The Bracken Funeral Home Facebook page.
Burial will be in St. Matthias Cemetery, French Creek, N.Y.
In lieu of sending flowers, Tom and his family request donations be made to his favorite charities: Findley Lake Community Foundation, 459 W. 6th St., Erie, PA 16507; Findley Lake Volunteer Fire Department, 10372 Main St., Findley Lake, NY 14736; and Corry YMCA, 906 N. Center St., Corry, PA 16407; or to a charity of one's choice.
To sign the guest book or send condolences, please visit www.brackenfh.com.