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Leonard Roche

Leonard Charles Roche, devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and business owner died Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at the age of 89. He was surrounded by family during his last days at the home where he and his wife Helen raised six children. Born January 3, 1924 to John and Ann (Lemieux) Roche in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, he and his family moved to Flint and he graduated from Flint Technical High School in 1942. He became a United States Citizen before enlisting in the Army at the age of 19. He served three years, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant during World War II in Europe and The Philippians. He was a proud member of the 86th Black Hawk Division, attending reunions and gatherings of the Division throughout his life. He received two Purple Hearts in 1945 and was also awarded two Bronze Stars, the Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, European African Middle-Eastern Theater Ribbon, and a Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon. After the war, while living in Kansas City, Missouri he met his wife of 61 years, Helen Marie Kann. He and Helen married in 1951 and raised seven children, John, Anne (Tom) Brown, Susan (John) Leadley, Tim (Chris) Roche, Laura (Don) Beach and Nancy Smith (Alan Sauve). After relocating back to the Flint area, he went into the service station business. That business paved the way for future ventures and the formation of Kan Rock Tire, Corp. which has grown to a chain of nine stores in the greater Flint area. A business from which he never retired and continued to be a part of until the end of his life. Civically minded, he was involved in local politics, community organizations and was a member of St. John’s Catholic Parish. Always a natural athlete, Len could be found working out at the gym most mornings well into his 80s, he was an avid gardener, outdoorsman and traveled the world with his wife and family, trading stories and speaking his native French whenever possible. He was a natural storyteller and was known to regale friends, family and strangers with tales of travel, history and his long and interesting life. He was a devoted grandfather to 12 grandchildren: David (Kim) Brown, Jennifer Brown (Nola du Toit), Alyson (Nicholas) Kechkaylo, Heidi Leadley, Emily Smith (Charles Flaishans), Amanda Boilore (Zack Beard), Jacob Roche, Erin Beach, Patricia Smith, Mary Beach, Madeline Roche and Jacqueline Roche and two great-grandchildren, Brady and Zach as well as numerous cousins, other family and friends. He is also survived by his loving wife, Helen; sister Mary (Don) Schlotterbeck; and was preceded in death by his parents, brother Lawrence and son Patrick. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 5, 10:30 at St. John's Catholic Church, 600 North Adelaide, Fenton. Fr. David Harvey officiating. Friends may visit on Sunday, February 3 & Monday, February 4 from 5-8pm (1700 hrs – 2000 hrs) at Temrowski Family Funeral Home, 500 Main St., Fenton. A Rosary will be prayed Monday at 7pm (1900 hrs). Interment and full Veteran's honors will take place at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly. In lieu of flowers, donations may be to any charitable organization in the name of Len Roche.

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Posted: Thu, January 31, 2013

I remember going w Len and Helen to the winery for a tasting and Len and I ended up going outside and dancing in the rain. Next thing you know they opened the big doors and everyone joined in :)

~Chris Roche    

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this wonderful man. We always enjoyed Len's jokes and stories..what a full and rich life he lead, what a great husband, father, grandfather, friend and community icon. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

~Jim and Kathy Johnson & Family    

Sending my love and sympathy to all. Doris and I are so glad we were in Michigan this summer . Len was always a joy to be around ! Even tho he was not feeling well he was a gracious host. He will be missed by many .


My prayers and thoughts are with you in this time of loss and sadness!

~Rene Beach    

Your father, grandfather was a very nice and happy man. You will always have nice memories to look back on. You are a very lucky family to of had him in your lives. God bless you and your family

~Darlene querio    

You are in our thought and prayers during this time of sadness in the passing of your father. Our hearts go out to all of you and your family. God Bless


For Anne Brown and Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of mourning.

The "Kitchen Crew" at Hyatt Elementary Cindy, Mary, Bonnie, Ron, John, and Jim

~Hyatt Kitchen Crew    

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Roche Family.

Joe Leadley family in Wisconsin

~Joe Leadley    

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Craig and I love Uncle Leonard so much and will miss him at family gatherings. He has been such an inspiration to us.

~Craig and Dianne LeMieux    

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Roache family

~mark kaiser    

Sending my condolences during this difficult time...

~Aissa Galang    


I am very sorry for your loss.

~Derek Sommer    

We're so sorry for you loss. I know Leonard lived his life to the fullest and he did it with great zest. He will be sadly missed, but cherished deeply in many hearts and memories.

Our thoughts are with the Roche family during this tragic time. Your strong family ties and love will help you through this, remember to look after each other.

With deepest sympathy

~Mary & David Fitzwater    

It was a pleasure knowing Len, I remember him when I was just a kid, he always had kind words and a smile.

~Dan Crannie Jr.    

Dear Anne and Tom, Pat and I are keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers. Having so recently lost a parent ourselves, and been blessed with friends like you, we certainly realize the importance of support at a time like this. God Bless you and your family during your very special time of need.

~Genie and Patrick Munch    

To the Roche family, Vern and I send you our love and prayers. I Bet Nadean and Dale were among the first to greet Len when he got to heaven. Trading stories and having a grand time. I'ld like to so.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

An Irish Blessing

~Mary-Lou and Vern Fowler    

our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. May all the happy memories help you to heal and remember all the good times you shared.

~Mel and Carol     

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Helen and all of the family. Leonard was such a special person. We will miss his ready smile and friendship. God Bless you all at this difficult time.

~Lewis & Jeanette Hammontree    

So very sorry for your loss. I remember the times Len would have me at his home to do some work for him. Always enjoyed this because it gave me time to sit, chat and listen to his many stories. The image of his happy smiling face will always be planted in my mind.

~Marv Kruse    

Our thoughts are with you at this very sad time. With deepest sympathy.

~Susan and Ron Wilkie    

We Will always cherish the wonderful times together - so much laughter.We will always remember our last visit here in San Luis Obispo for Len's Army reunion at Camp SLO. His' Irish "Paddy" jokes were priceless. He was a wonderful brother and friend. We will miss him forever. Our deepest sympathies to Helen and our wonderful nieces and nephews and their families.

~Aunt Mary & Uncle Don    

I am so sorry for your loss Helen. I have so many fond memories of Len. I remember so well the campfires in dad's backyard with Lawrence and the "gang". Len will be greatly missed. If there is anything I can do to help please call me. My prayers and thoughts are with you and the entire family.

~Cathy Torrey    

Mon papa, Mon heros, Ma roche


To the Roche and Beach family Our thoughts go out for you So sorry for your loss

~Keith Georgie Atkins     

Sad for your loss. Len was such a solid person, you are so lucky to have him in your hearts forever. One of the fairest, most honest men I've ever met. Tim, please message me some time. Norm Cull, Deer Park, WA

~Norm Cull    

Uncle Leonard will be greatly missed .

~Jose and Joni (LeMieux)    

Dear Aunt Helen and all the cousins, Uncle Len was always larger than life to me when we would visit during the summers. I will always remember his scary ghost stories he would tell us kids while camping at the lake, his harmonica playing, and joy rides in the back of his truck. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. What a good man and we will all miss him.

~Karen (Schlotterbeck) Stockel and family    

Susan & John, So sorry to hear of your loss. Our thought & prayers are with you and your entire family. Just remember the good times.

~Dale & Dorothy Nelson    

Susan, Sorry to her of your Dad's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love to all.

~Veronica, Bob & Greg     

As his younger cousin growing up in Davison Mich., My sister Grace Pearson and myself were very close to Leonard and Helen, his sister Mary, brother Lawence and their parents John and Ann Roche. They all made a very positive influnece in our lives. I am very proud to have had my picture taken recent with Leonard showing his WW 2 metals. I am in California now and Leonard and Helen and I always kept in touch via e-mail and visits when I was in Michigan.

Bob Pearson

~Bob Pearson    

I would like to add to my previous comment. Leonard we shall miss your dearly.

Bob Pearson

~Bob Pearson    

"Oh what a jolly good fellow!" as I remember him, always with a warm and fun-loving personality. For Mrs Roche and all the family, my sincere sympathies. lovingly, Angela Davis

~Angela Davis    

Dear Aunt Helen and all my cousins and their families, We were so saddened to hear of Uncle Len's passing. I, too, remember what great times we had spending our summers in Flint with all of you, Grandma & Grandpa, in Fenton and at Lake Huron. Besides his tall tales & scary stories, I remember the drawing contests, rolling around in huge Kanrock tire inner tubes and eating the amazing stuff Len grew. Our prayers are with all of you, but especially Aunt Helen. Take care, Mary Lynne (Schlotterbeck) Doyle

~Mary Schlotterbeck Doyle    

Dear Roche family. Our heartfelt thoughts are with you at this time. Sincerely, The Stallcups

~laura stallcup    

Helen, I enjoyed meeting both of you several years ago through the gym. Len's stories and jokes were always a highlight in my day. He told me once that he liked when I read at mass because he said he could hear me loud and clear. I will miss his thumbs up on his way out the church door and will be praying for you and your family. Rachel Draeger


To Aunt Helen, my cousins and their families: I was very sorry to hear about Uncle Len's passing. Like my sisters, Mary Lynne and Karen, I, too, remember our summers in Flint, Fenton and at Lake Huron. And I remember the scary stories, which for me were just a bit too real. I also remember what Len said to me one time when you all were visiting us in California. Unlike my brother, Matt, or John and Tim, I was never mechanically inclined and the older boys were teasing me about it. Len wrote me a note telling me not to worry about it, that we couldn't all be grease monkeys. As a kid, that little gesture meant a huge deal to me. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Take care, John Schlotterbeck.

~John Schlotterbeck    

Susan and John, We are so sorry to hear about Leonard. Our thought & prayers are with you and your entire family. The Richard Ferriby Family

~Susan Ferriby    

The Roche Family,,

I am sorry to hear about one of my favorite people in this world. And I am sorry I cannot not be with you all at this time. Uncle Leonard was a special soul. He made everyone who he came into contact feel like they were the only one in the room. I loved being at family gatherings with him, I loved hearing him laugh, seeing his smile, and feeling the energy he brought where ever he went. I am sure God is saying "well done my good and faithful servant" because he was the best and the world will have a void but heaven will have gained. I love you all and am praying for all of you.

~Cheryl Soltys Weber    

GOD speed.Prayers to the family.Len was a wonderful man with a kind heart,he had touched many lives,always had a story to tell.I will never forget the day he delivered a order to the store I ran,a customer thought it was wonderful how the company hired senior citizens....he smiled,knodded and responed "yes it was",never letting on he was the owner.

~Kim Collins    

Our deepest sympathy.

~Kathy@Mel Chavez    

I am so sorry for your loss. I loved Uncle Leonard's sense of humor. He always made me laugh. I will truly miss him. May God Bless your family through this difficult time.

~Judy Heenan    

Susan & John and the entire family. We are sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. May God bless you during this difficult time of saying good bye.

~Dave & Luann Griffus    

I just heard and was saddened when I heard Mr. Roche had passed. He was always an inspiration to me on how you should work hard, be giving and be a man of your word. Obviously, he was all of that and more – truly a man who gave to his country, his family and the betterment of man. The entire Roche family is in my thoughts and prayers.

~Tim Stallcup    

Dear Anne and Tom, Your father sounds like somebody everyone wishes they could of known .

~Peg Smith    


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