Never one to make a scene, Thomas P. Roach, known lovingly as Tom, Pa, Pop, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa, passed away quietly in the middle of the night on July 16, 2015, at Iola, Kansas.
Thomas was born in Gahagan, Louisiana on June 18, 1920 to Birdie Coleman and Marion Roach. He had a very humble beginning, growing up around Texarkana, Arkansas. In high school, he was a star athlete, good student, and very popular. Shortly after his graduation, he was drafted into the war. His toughness was noticed early on and he was selected to be one of Darby's Rangers and later, a member of the FSSF (First Special Service Forces). He was strong and brave. Over his twenty plus year career serving in the US Army, Tom was a veteran of WWII, and the Korean War, retiring in 1963.
At the age of 41 Tom made the change from bachelor to family man when he met and married Bruxie (King) Hall. Bruxie had eight children, five of which (all girls) were still at home. As said, he was brave. One can imagine going from being a single man to married with eight children and all the chaos that could ensue. Yet he did not desert. He stayed and provided stability.
He was a man of few words. He was slow to anger but quick to smile. He fought heroically in the war but was a gentle soul for his family. Tom was a very patient and kind man that lived for his wife. A few months after Bruxie's passing and never having said that he missed her, he came home with about 5 lbs. of grapes. When asked if he now liked grapes, he replied "Not particularly, but Ma always kept some in the fridge". That simple act spoke volumes.
He loved to chew tobacco, drink coffee, fish, whittle, play cards, and watch sports and the news.
He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother, Marion Roach, his younger sister, Margaret Moon, his wife, Bruxie, and step-children Raymond Hall, Bonita Dixon and Audrey Johnson.
Tom is survived by his step-children Erline Johnson of Independence, Missouri, Sam Hall of Lawrence, Kansas, Elizabeth Corbett of Iola, Joyce West of Wichita, Kansas and Deana Smith of Welda, Kansas; and an abundance of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
His last months were spent at Windsor Place watching birds and baseball, where he was once again a popular guy. He was well liked by the staff, and Thomas' family is sincerely thankful for the attentive care he received there.
Graveside services with Military Honors will be held at 10:00 AM, Monday, July 20, 2015 at the Colony Cemetery, Colony, Kansas. Memorial contributions may be made to A.C.A.R.F. and sent in care of Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, PO BOX 408, Garnett, Kansas 66032. Condolences may be left for the family at www.feuerbornfuneral.com