Robert “Wayne” Roch, age 78, passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at his residence in Vancleave, MS after a five-year battle with cancer, never complaining and always encouraging others with his wit and humility. He was a man of few words, but those words were priceless.
Wayne was a lifetime resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, born August 21, 1945 in Biloxi, MS to Robert A. Roch and Juliette Strong Roch. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Gulfport, MS, where he was “Santa” during Christmas activities. Wayne was a veteran of the United States Navy, having served aboard the USS Lexington and the USS Glover.
Following his honorable discharge for the US Navy, Wayne was employed as a Home Delivery Route Salesman by Borden Milk Company before beginning an illustrious twenty-five-year Civil Service Career at the US Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, MS as a Warehouseman and retiring as the Director of Physical Distribution. Throughout his Civil Service career, Wayne received numerous performance-based awards including the US Navy’s highest Civilian award, the coveted Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
After retirement, Wayne could be found on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico near his beloved Biloxi or in the Key West. Wayne wore many hats in his lifetime- loving husband, guiding father, loyal friend, mentor to many, loving brother, but he was most proud to be called PawPaw by his grandson and granddaughter, whom he loved with all his heart and soul. Wayne loved his family, his friends, and his Lord Jesus Christ. He shared his loved of The Lord with innumerable homeless people by giving Bibles and meal cards to them to feed them both physically and spiritually.
Wayne had a deep, abiding love of America and her veterans and rode thousands of miles on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a member of the Patriot Guard to honor fallen veterans. The Patriot Guard will provide escorts for Wayne’s services.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Jules “Chomp” Roch.
Wayne is survived by his beloved wife of fifty-eight years, Carol Tomlin Roch; daughter, Kimberly Roch (Kenny) Page; grandchildren, Gavin Wayne Page and Jillian Raye Page; sister, Melody Roch Carson; brother, Lanny Roch, Sr.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, Wayne has requested that you honor is memory with a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1999, Memphis, TN 38101.
The family would like to give a special thanks to the staff of Hospice of Light, Dr. Cory Carter, the staff at The Cancer Center in Ocean Springs, MS, and their church families.
Serving as pallbearers will be Ernie Forbes, Dick Moseley, Gavin Page, Mark Richmond, Lanny Roch, Sr., and Fred Schwan.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00am on Friday, October 13, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, 10885 O’Neal Rd., Gulfport, MS. Friends may visit one hour prior. Burial with full military honors will follow at 12:30pm at Biloxi National Cemetery.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Homes is honored to serve the family of Robert “Wayne” Roch.
The days will always be brighter because he existed.
The nights will always be darker because he’s gone.
Once my earth Angel, now my Guardian Angel in heaven.