Cover photo for Edward Charles Roche's Obituary
Edward Charles Roche Profile Photo

Edward Charles Roche

May 9, 1933 — April 9, 2015

Edward Charles Roche, Jr., 81, of Longboat Key FL passed away on Wednesday 9 April 2015 in Bethlehem PA.

Born 9 May 1933 in Boston, MA, Ted (to his immediate family) was the son of the late Edward Charles Roche and the late Dorothy Rita McGovern.

Home: Over the years, Edward has lived in Boston MA, Roselle NJ, Indianapolis IN, Buffalo NY, Cranford NJ, Denver CO, New Providence NJ, Parsippany NJ, West Point NY, Christchurch NZ, Kuwait City KW, Reno NV, Asheville NC, and Longboat Key FL.

Spouse: Edward was predeceased by his loving wife of over 54 years, Nancy Ilgen Roche. The two were married on 4 July 1959.

Education: Edward received his high school diploma from St Benedicts Preparatory School (Newark NJ) in 1950. He was a commuter undergraduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken NJ) graduating with the interdisciplinary degree of Mechanical Engineer (magna cum laude) in 1954; his academic success at Stevens was further reflected by winning the Mathematics Award and election to the national engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi (NJ Alpha), and the Arnold Air Society (AFROTC honor society). As part of his service in the United States Air Force (USAF), Ed did postgraduate studies in applied nuclear physics for which Harvard University granted him scientiae magister (Master of Science, 1958). Finally, while working fulltime at Esso as a process engineer and raising a young family Ed went back to his alma mater, Stevens Institute of Technology, attaining his Doctor of Science (ScD in Chemical Engineering) in 1967.

Military Service: Commissioned a Second Lieutenant (USAF) upon graduating from college (ROTC scholarship), Lt Col Edward D. Roche Jr. USAF put in two years active service and then joined the Air Force Reserve (USAFR), eventually serving over 20 years of (1954-1981) and retiring a Lieutenant Colonel. While on active service he oversaw nuclear weapons, which were loaded on long-range bombers (thankfully never used). Much of his reserve career was devoted to teaching, both at the college level as an ROTC advisor and at high school level with a junior ROTC squadron.

Profession: Edward C. Roche Jr, ScD PE was professor of chemical engineering emeritus at New Jersey Institute of Technology (1967-98) where he taught plant design, mass transfer, and unit operations courses. Prior to joining NJIT (then Newark College of Engineering or NCE), Ed worked for Exxon Research & Engineering (then Esso) as a senior process design engineer (1957-67). He was a licensed professional engineer and Fellow of the AIChE. While at NJIT, Ed was the principle in his consulting engineering firm for 25 years. In addition, Ed served as a visiting professor at University of Calgary, Kuwait University, University of Aston (UK), U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Canterbury University (Christ Church NZ), and University of Nevada, Reno.

Eds involvement with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) began in 1985, where he served as a past chair and vice chair, and senior member of the chemical engineering examination development committee. NCEES administers the national licensing exam for Professional Engineers (PE) in the United States. In 2014, Eds lifetime commitment was recognized at the NCEES national convention in Seattle WA, where he was presented with the councils Distinguished Examination Service Award.

Community Service: Throughout his life, Edward served the community in a variety of positions, including past president of the New Jersey Air Force Association, as a lector for his local parish of the Catholic Church, as a fourth degree member of the Knight of Columbus, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer along with his bride, Nancy, and merit badge councilor for the Boy Scouts of America. Ed was also blessed to have good neighbors in the many places he and Nancy called home. Part of that was often manifested in an exchange of skills or equipment (Ill help you install a sump pump, you watch my house while Im away or you may use my extension ladder if I may use your 20-foot step ladder).

Hobbies: Skiing (where he first met his wife to be Nancy), racket sports (squash, tennis, and racket ball), avid reader (enjoyed history, biography, sciences, but also quick reads like James Bond, Aubrey/Maturin, Tom Clancy), puttering around the house (cutting down trees, splitting logs, running the chipper, building a patio/porch, finishing a cellar, replacing a toilet, wiring a three-way light switch, killing snakes, staining wood, patching and painting walls, laying brick, etc.), and crafting PE-exam problems.

Survivors: Edward is survived by two daughters: Kelli Sue Roche Portland and husband Scott Portland of Milford, NJ; and Pegeen Marie Roche Sternberg and husband Franklin L. Sternberg of Bethlehem Twp., PA; and by two sons: Patrick Thomas Roche of Parsippany, NJ and Timothy Edward Roche of Bethlehem Twp., PA, as well as Timothys longtime friend Tracey L. Tillman of Parsippany, NJ, who Edward and Nancy loved like a daughter. Edwards first daughter, Lisa Ann Roche, predeceased Edward. Edwards four grandsons are Shane T. Sternberg, Jacob E. Sternberg, Ryan B. Sternberg, and Connor J. Sternberg. Edward has one surviving brother Richard Roche of Brick, NJ, and one surviving sister and her family: Marcia “Marti” Murday and James “Jim” Murday of Springfield, VA. Edward has 16 nieces and nephews, including Michelle Murday McMillan, Kimmaree Murday, Brendan Murday, Susan Tuzzeo DAngelo, Joseph B. Tuzzeo, Margaret “Meg” Tuzzeo, Bonnie Novak, Kenneth Novak, Dan Novak, Brian Wade, Colin Wade, Erin Wade, John Ilgen Jr., Michael Ilgen, Steven Ilgen, and Rita Ilgen.

Service: A memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, 16 May 2015, one oclock at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church at 1817 First Street in Bethlehem PA.; Father Robert J. George, M.Div., Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, presiding.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at to the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

Remember: Ed would tell you, if he were here, that he was blessed in life: with caring neighbors, with work colleagues that he counted as friends, with a loving family, and most of all with his bride for life and afterlife, Nancy Ilgen Roche. Please pray for his immortal soul.

Memorial Service
Saturday, May 16, 2015
1:00 PM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1817 First St.
Bethlehem PA 18020

Funeral HomeConnell Funeral Home, Inc.
245 East Broad St.
Bethlehem PA - 18018

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