John E. Roche
Vincent Roche was born in Cloonduane, Belcarra, Castlebar in 1933. He moved a short distance away with his family when he was 15 to Clogher, Claremorris. He attended Clogher N.S. and one year in Belcarra N.S. before leaving school to be a tea boy for the Post & Telegraph (P&T). Later he worked in the Bacon Factory and became an orderly at the Mental Hospital before heading to England to work on the buildings. He emigrated to New York in 1956 at the age of 23. He was collected by his cousin Agnes (Gevlin) Rice and lived in the Bronx. His first job was working for her brother (John Gevlin) at the Plymouth Rock Provisions store.
On a train trip to Boston to visit friends, he stopped in Providence and called his friend from Mayo, Annie Josephine Igoe (Josie) and she came to meet him with her brother Mike. He stayed the night and their relationship rekindled. Josie had emigrated to Rhode Island a few years earlier from Carnacon, Claremorris. She had also gone to Clogher N.S. and had dated Vincent before emigrating to America.
Vincent and Josie were married on Valentine’s Day 1958 in Providence, R.I. and Vincent set up shop as a barber on Broad Street in Providence in 1964. In 1959 they welcomed their daughter Anne followed by their daughter Mary in 1960. I was born in 1964 in Providence, RI and James was born in 1966. Shortly before I arrived home from the hospital as a newborn, Vincent and Josie had bought a house in the Gaspee section of Warwick, RI. They lived there until 1970 and then returned to Ireland with their four children to run Vincent’s family farm. My sisters attended Balla Secondary school and my brother and I attended Belcarra N.S. In addition to farming, Vincent worked full-time for Baxter Healthcare (formerly Travenol) maintaining the testing lab in nearby Castlebar.
Vincent shut down the farm and we all returned to Potowomut, Warwick, R.I. in 1976 to attend to my mother’s illness. Sadly, she passed away from cancer in 1981. Vincent was working as a welder for General Dynamics Electric Boat division in North Kingston, RI and with his youngest child only two years away from graduating Bishop Hendricken H.S., Vincent decided to stay in Warwick, RI later moving to smaller home in Providence, RI.
In 1985, Vincent wed Kathleen Mahoney, a Providence native whose own parents had emigrated from Kerry many years before. Vincent and Kay enjoyed a wonderful life together traveling every summer back to their home in Kerry. Vincent retired from General Dynamics in 1996 after a 20 year career. In semi-retirement, he drove a bus for students of Providence College near the home he shared with Kay.
Vincent passed away on November 29th, 2018 after a lengthy illness. Besides Kay, he left behind four married adult children, ten grandchildren, extended family and many, many friends. He also left behind a legacy of being a stand-up guy and someone who was almost always happy and laughing