John Lewis Roach, 94, of Goodyear, AZ, passed away October 7, 2013. John was born December 5, 1918 to Harry & Bertha Trout Roach in Essex, Page County, IA. He grew up with 3 brothers and 1 sister in a rural farming community in Iowa. After graduating from high school in College Springs, IA in 1937 he was recruited by Paul W Litchfield President of Goodyear Tire and Rubber to come to Arizona and participate in the Adaman Farms apprentice farmers program. After arriving in Arizona with $40 in his pocket, he walked from the train station in Avondale to Litchfield Park to begin his farming career. After farming 80 acres and milking a herd of cows for 3 years, WWII began and he was drafted into the Army. John and his wife Bettie Jo left Arizona to serve out his military time in Oklahoma and Virginia. When the war was over and he was discharged from the Army in 1946 they returned to Arizona to begin farming again. John continued to farm until his retirement.
John was active in many organizations: Kiwanis Club Member of Litchfield Park for over 60 years, holding several offices including President in 1967. Inducted into the Arizona Farmers Hall of Fame in 2013, Member of the Arizona National Pioneer Stockman Assoc, Cattle Growers Assoc, Arizona Cattle Feeders Assoc, Arizona Cotton Growers Assoc. President of Goodyear/Avondale/Litchfield Park Chamber of Commerce. Member of the Maricopa County Board of Adjustments and Appeals. Key Club Advisor at Agua Fria Union High School. Member of the Church of Litchfield Park and the Future Farmers of America.
John was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years Bettie Jo Marsh. He is survived by his daughter Barbara McReynolds (Thomas) of Wenden, AZ, 3 grandchildren Kim Woodhead (Daniel) of Goodyear, AZ, Lisa Apolinar (Paul) of Litchfied Park, AZ, Thomas McReynolds (Donna) of Scottsdale, AZ, 5 great grandchildren, and 1 brother Ralph Roach of Abilene, TX.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 14th at 11 a.m. At the Church of Litchfield Park. Burial will follow at 2pm at Greenwood Memory Lawn. Condolences can be sent to www.thompsonfuneralchapel.com.