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News Obituaries

Robert W. "Bob" Roche, relief worker

Robert W. "Bob" Roche, a former Peace Corps volunteer who later worked in Africa with Catholic Relief Services, died Jan. 12 of undetermined causes at Sanctuary at Holy Cross, a Burtonsville senior living community.

The Columbia resident was 61.

"We are awaiting the results of an autopsy as to the cause of death," said his son, Robert L. Roche, who lives in Washington.

Robert Winslow "Bob" Roche was born and raised in Monroeville, Pa., where he graduated in 1968 from Gateway Senior High School.

After earning a bachelor's degree in 1972 from the University of Notre Dame, he entered St. Fidelis College and Seminary in Herman, Pa., leaving after a year.

He hitchhiked to the West Coast and enrolled at Oregon State University, where he earned a master's degree in 1977 in forestry.

Mr. Roche joined the Peace Corps in 1977 and was sent to Africa. While stationed in Zaire, he worked as an English teacher.

While working in Zaire, he met and married Louise Kilmbo in 1979.

He joined Catholic Relief Services in 1980 and continued working in Africa. In 1994, he returned to work with CRS in Baltimore.

In 1994, Mr. Roche was hit by a car while crossing Route 175 in Columbia, which left him bedridden.

Family members said that Mr. Roche faced his ordeal with a "strong will and determination." He continued to maintain his passion for Africa, love of sports and enthusiasm for life, they said.

Mr. Roche was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Drive, Ellicott City, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday. .

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Roche is survived by two daughters, Melissa M. Roche and Annette K. Roche, both of Baltimore; and a grandson.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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