Donald K. Roach Jr, of Morris, passed away Sunday morning with his loving family by his side at the age of 78. He was born on May 14, 1943, in Litchfield, Il to Donald K. and Verna B. Roach.
Don was raised in Litchfield graduating from Litchfield High School with the Class of 1961. While in high school, he was an accomplished athlete being a 4-year letterman in baseball, 3-year letterman in basketball and a quarterback for the Litchfield Panthers. He went on to graduate from Western Illinois University in January of 1966 with his degree in teaching. In February of the same year, he married the love his life Cheryl Wojick in Danville, Illinois.
Don’s first teaching job was in Danville for a semester before accepting a teaching/coaching position at the Litchfield School District. In 1970 he accepted a teaching/coaching position in the Wilmington School District, where he and his family would reside for over 30 years. While with Wilmington his Girls Varsity Basketball team were Regional Champs with 20 wins for the season. “Coach Roach” always strived for athletes to enjoy themselves and every player was given the opportunity to play and learn the fundamentals of their sport.
Don retired in 1993 after 23 years if teaching and coaching at Wilmington School District. Retirement didn’t last long when he joined the team at Wilmington ACE Hardware. In 1995 he became the manager at the Whitmore ACE Hardware store in Braidwood, officially retiring in 2003. After retirement Don and Cheryl spent close to 7 years enjoying the warmth of Florida.
Don is survived by his loving wife Cheryl; daughter Pamela (Jerry) Miedl; sons Justin (Michelle) and Travis (Vicki) Roach; grandchildren Chaise (Yenny) Miedl, Chayne Miedl and Erika Arambula, Heather (Rob) Caise, Kyle Roach, Mason Roach, Nicole Roach and Brandi Rector; great grandchildren Haileigh and Aubreigh Caise and Emilia and Ace Miedl. He is also survived by his sisters Karen Bandy and Gail Roach; and nieces and nephews Jessica Redfern, Joe (Theresa) Verstraeter, Jay (Laura) Verstraeter, Tyler (Shannon) Verstraeter, Cady (Joe) Verdeyen and Kohle Verstraeter.
He is preceded by his parents and brother-in-law Michael Bandy.
Memorials may be made in Don’s name to either Lightways Hospice of Joliet or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
A Celebration of Don’s life will be held at a later date for family and close friends.
An online guestbook has been created for the family, where you may sign the guestbook, share memories and photographs. You may visit our website at www.ucdaviscallahan.com. Arrangements have been entrusted with the U. C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home located at 301 West Washington Street, Morris, Illinois 60450.