Football

John Birsen Roach, Jr.

June 20, 1951 ~ April 17, 2022 (age 70)

Obituary

John Birsen Roach, Jr., age 70, died on April 17, 2022 at his home in Dallas, Texas after a courageous 90-day medical battle.  He was supported by an extensive medical team and a host of family members and friends.   His strong faith was the foundation of his life.

John was born to John Birsen Roach, Sr. and Catherine Ann Allen Roach, in Wellington, Texas on June 20, 1951.  He grew up in nearby Shamrock, Texas and attended Shamrock I.S.D. with a group of 50 friends graduating in 1969. He has maintained a close connection with many of his classmates over the years.  John was a class leader, accomplished student, loyal friend, devoted altar boy and industrious young worker.  He was highly respected and admired by friends, teachers and neighbors. 

John graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Finance in 1973.  He was selected for the Leadership Team as a member of the Texas Aggie Band.  In the true Aggie spirit, he remained close to his Aggie Buddies throughout his life.  He received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation from A&M and served in the United States Army.

John began his career as a federal bank regulator and liquidator with the F.D.I.C. and went on to executive positions in Texas banking organizations during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  In 1984, he married Susan Steele also a banker and in 1993 they formed a sales and leadership training company, which they operated for over 20 years. 

His circle of friends considered John to be an extraordinary individual.  He mastered the sincerity of true friendship, always considerate, respectful and kind to every colleague, employee, stranger and friend. John devoted his life to meeting and connecting people.  He saw the best in everyone, encouraged young professionals with his advice to help them to achieve their goals.

John always recognized and celebrated holidays and rites of passage with family members.  He gave encouragement, joy and support to everyone.  He dedicated much of his life to charitable and community service with religious and benevolent organizations.  He mentored and tutored disadvantaged school students, volunteered at homeless shelters and served as financial and health advocate for isolated elderly individuals. He volunteered in leadership roles on various boards.  John thrived on giving back and helping where his skills and values could make a difference. 

He and his wife and best friend, Susan, shared, supported and celebrated each other’s spiritual journeys in Catholicism and the Protestant faith.  They loved the outdoors and travel.  They had a second home in Snowmass Village, Colorado for twenty-five years and they still maintain a cabin in East Texas as members of the Rock Falls Fishing Club.  Susan and John rescued and adored their dogs.  “Lucky” dog was a constant companion to John during his illness.

John grew up in a family that loved games.  He loved reading, sharing puns and jokes, watching numerous sporting events.  He is known for starting a football contest to pick game winners each NFL season.  For 35 years he continued to add new friends and family members to the pool.  

John would be described by all as the ultimate “good guy,” nicest person and kind friend.  He was a loving husband, brother, dad, uncle, son and friend.  He is survived by his wife Susan Steele Roach of Dallas; daughter Dr. Julie Ann Hollberg (Dr. Theresa Vettese) of Atlanta, Georgia; grandsons Spencer and William Hollberg of Atlanta, Georgia; mother Catherine Ann Roach of Amarillo, Texas; brother Chris Joseph Roach (JoAnne) of Frisco, Texas; sister-in-law Patty Steele Bateman (Butch) of Conroe, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was predeceased by his son John Birsen Roach III (Meredith) in 2020, his father John Birsen Roach Sr. in 2008 and his brother-in-law James W. Steele in 2000.

John’s funeral mass will be celebrated at St Rita’s Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Road Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception in the Parish Commons.  He will be interred in the family plot in Shamrock, Texas at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorials be made to Snowmass Chapel, Snowmass Village Colorado; The Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St Rita Catholic Church, Dallas, Texas or your favorite charity in memory and celebration of John’s life.

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