Thursday 18 July 2019

Johnny was an active man taken too soon


The late Johnny Roche
The late Johnny Roche

The sudden death of Johnny Roche of 54 JKL Place, New Ross, on New Year's Day has occasioned great sadness in his native New Ross and further afield.

Johnny died aged 67 at his home at 54 JFL Place. on New Year's Day night.

From Charlton Hill, Johnny was the son of Johanna and Laurence and had two brothers, the late Jim and Pat and is survived by his four sisters, Ellen, Frances, Noeleen and Maria.

He attended Michael Street and CBS national schools and in his youth played with a tin whistle group.

His father Laurence passed on a love of the outdoors to Johnny who loved nothing more than going off fishing on the quay in New Ross or hunting in the area.

In later years he enjoyed walking his dog and playing darts, often winning turkeys and hams.

Such was his prowess at hitting the high scores, his dart skills were seen at pubs and venues across the country. Johnny also enjoyed racquetball with the late Johnny Lacey.

He worked delivering parcels of meat for Pat Bailey's butchers on North Street in his teens, before going on to work at Stafford's fuels. Always wanting to see more of the world he left to join the Merchant Navy in his early twenties, taking him around the world, working in ship kitchens. He would be away from New Ross for weeks and months at a time, but always loved coming home.

In 1973 Johnny returned to New Ross. He lived in Mary Street prior to settling in JKL.

He worked for Nicholas Doyle on Mary Street delivering beer to pubs across the county. A man who loved interacting with people on a one-to-one basis, Johnny had a very quirky sense of humour, but with his trademark glint in the eye and smile he could get away with saying anything. A loyal friend, Johnny met Patricia who became his partner for the following 30 years up until his untimely passing.

Johnny enjoyed good health up until his mid-fifties when he suffered him hip problems. He retired early on account of it, but continued getting out and about. He loved animals and being out on the land and loved being out in nature where he could tell whoever was in his company which animal had passed that way recently from the tracks. He walked his dog Tiny daily and found great companionship in his cat Charlie who died four months before him.

Johnny was at home on New Year's Day when he passed away in his chair, shortly after chatting with family. His sudden death is something Patricia, his daughter Sarah and all his family and friends are still struggling to come to terms with. They said they have received great support within the community for which they are eternally grateful.

Johnny was a source of comfort, love, joy and companionship, a confidant, best friend, partner and an amazing and loving father to Sarah.

He is survived by his loving partner Patricia; daughter Sarah; sisters Maria, Noeleen, Ellen and Frances, brother Pat; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nephews; nieces; relatives and friends.

A large crowd attended Johnny's funeral Mass at St Mary & St Michael's church, where members of New Ross Sea Scouts and the civil defence - both of whom Patricia is a long term member.

He was laid to rest afterwards in St Stephen's Cemetery.

New Ross Standard