Josephine St. John Roach, 94, died Thursday, June 6, 2009, at Appalachian Christian Village, Johnson City.
Mrs. Roach was born in Watauga, Tennessee and had lived in Johnson City for the past 64 years. She was the daughter of the late James T. and Josephine Thomas St. John.
Mrs. Roach graduated from East Tennessee State University, where she lettered in tennis and did postgraduate work at the University of Tennessee. She taught physical education in the Johnson City school system from 1937 to 1945 and enjoyed taking her students to her home in Watauga to play tennis and ride horses.
She was a member of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, where she had served on the Altar Guild and was a member of the Fellowship Sunday School Class. Mrs. Roach had been a member of the Johnson City Monday Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Opti-Mrs., Merry Wives, Tuesday Morning Sewing Club, and the Twelfth Nighters.
In her youth, Mrs. Roach was an avid tennis player and equestrian. In her later years, she loved organizing activities with friends, playing canasta, and spending time with her family. She was particularly fond of music and spent many hours listening to her children and grandchildren play the piano.
Mrs. Roach was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She touched innumerable lives through volunteering at church, teaching pupils at school, and, most recently, catching up with lifelong friends at her community residence. Throughout her life, she maintained an inner spark, devotion to God, and an optimistic outlook. She will be dearly missed by everyone who was touched by her kindness, quick smile, and empathy towards all.
She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-five years, John A. Roach; two sons, John Roach and Jim Roach; two sisters, Martha Blair Sell and Margaret St. John; and a brother, George St. John.
Survivors include her daughter, Jo Hemphill, and husband Chris; her son, Bob Roach, and wife Leila; grandchildren Scott Hemphill and fiancée Laura Hammond, Brian Hemphill and wife Claire, Anna Mitchell and husband Steve, Michael Roach, Margaret Roach, and Katherine Roach; and great-grandchildren Matthew Mitchell, Emma Mitchell, and Lila Hemphill.
The Celebration of Life Service for Josephine St. John Roach will be conducted on Monday, June 8, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. in the Sunrise Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Services, Johnson City. Rev. Brian Taylor and the Rev. Michael Lester will officiate. Music will be under the direction of Doug Grove-DeJarnett and Ann O’Quinn. Interment will follow in Monte Vista Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Bob Roach, Chris Hemphill, Scott Hemphill, Brian Hemphill, Michael Roach and Steve Mitchell. The family will receive friends on Sunday, June 7, 2009 at Tetrick Funeral Services from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church Pre-School Scholarship Fund, 201 East Market Street, Johnson City, Tennessee 37601, or to a charity of one’s choice.