Range Funeral Homes


Richard Vernon Roach

12/31/1936 - 09/09/2020

Richard Vernon Roach, 83, of Mt. Iron, MN passed away Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at The Waterview Pines in Virginia. Per Richard’s request, no services are planned. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Home in Virginia.

Richard was born December 31, 1936 to Egbert and Clara (Goble) Roach in Eden Valley, MN where he grew up. He started teaching in 1959 in Coleraine, MN and then moved to Gilbert, MN where he taught for 30+ years, and earned the nickname “Papa Roach” by his students. He was always grateful for the love and compassion shared with all his students.

Richard loved crappie fishing, always looking for a secret fishing spot. He enjoyed listening to music and going to live concerts.

Richard was a master bridge player. He belonged to the Virginia Bridge Club. Laurie Laakso was his partner for 50 years. Richard and Laurie were very proud of their continuing #1 reigning status in the club.

Survivors include his children: Shawnee Korich of New Brighton, MN, Candace Wright (Duncan) of Mt. Iron, MN, Julie Bonovich (Pat) of Bemidji, MN, Carol Joelson (David) of Maple Grove, MN, David Ellegard of Anchorage, AK, Jon Paul Ellegard (Laura) of Mt. Iron, MN, and Maryrose Ellegard (Vern) of Mesa, AZ; 14 grandchildren; and 23 great grandchildren.

Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Rose (Ellegard) Roach; daughter, Stacy; grandsons, Joshua Altobelli and Shannon Korich; parents; 2 brothers and 3 sisters.

8 thoughts on “Richard Vernon Roach”

  1. Kris Dundas says:

    I am so sorry to see that Dick has passed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you at this sad time. Sending all my love, Kris Dundas

  2. Douglas Kyte says:

    He will be missed. Prayers to all.

  3. Carol J. Simat (Ruohonen) says:

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Roach. You were a Beloved Teacher & will never be forgotten. You made a marked impact on the lives of countless students, & I am one of them. Thank you for your dedicated service from a former grad of Gilbert High School.

  4. Barbara Yearty says:

    He was an amazing human being and wonderful teacher. He taught three of my bigh school classes. His drive and enthisiasm for life got passed on to us, as his students. He had us all write our autobiographies every year and amazingly-he mailed them all back to us in recent years. He was amazing in so many ways. Many thanks for having had you as a teacher that cares. You will always be remembered. God bless you and keep you now. Best healing wishes and prayers to your family.

  5. David Gibson says:

    MR. ROACH was one of the best teachers I had in Gilbert School. I was very glad to get my papers back from Mr. Roach. It was very cool of Mr. Roach to do that. A very Great person. Ya will be missed. Prayers and Hugs for family.

  6. Susan Adamson says:

    I was a student of Mr Roach, in his first couple of years of teaching at Greenway Junior High School. He was my favorite teacher. Always had an interesting take on things. Was a lot of fun. He was honored at our 50th high school graduation a few years back where he handed back the autobiographies that we wrote in 7th and 8th grade. That was such a memory jogger. Thank you, Mr Roach for being an excellent teacher and a wonderful person.

  7. Myron Cook says:

    We will miss you, Dick
    Jan and Myron Cook

  8. Angela Sipila says:

    Condolences to the Family. Mr. Roach was The Best Duplicate Bridge Player. And although he was “in the zone” with Laurie, he was Always Polite and Helpful to other players. He was never rude in a game that is notorious for rudeness. He will be sorely missed.

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National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association