Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Monday, February 26, 2007
  Nancy Roach 1933 - 2007

Born in Detroit in February 28, 1933, Nancy Roach (Bird), believed in, and actively lived, the George Sand quote; "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." The devoted wife, mother and grandmother passed away at home in Crystal Lake, IL on Monday, February 26th from pancreatic cancer.

Nancy Bird graduated in 1951 as Salutatorian from Fordson High School in Dearborn, MI. An outstanding young pianist, Nancy declined an opportunity to study at Juilliard to attend the University of Michigan where she earned a degree in education. While studying at Michigan, she married fellow student John Roach in 1952. After graduation Nancy taught elementary school in Dearborn. Shortly thereafter she joined her husband who was stationed in Japan with the military. In Japan, Nancy gave birth to her first child, Nancy Anne.

Upon returning to the United States, the Roaches settled in Cleveland, OH where son John Philip and daughter Catherine were subsequently born. In 1967 the family moved to the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park where son Gregory was born.

A long-time member of the Grosse Pointe Artist Association, Nancy volunteered to design and write a unique history of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She then returned to full-time work as a copywriter for Crowley's Department Store. Later she joined the promotions department of the Detroit News where she won several prestigious Caddy Awards from the Detroit Creative Directors Council. In the mid-'80s Nancy also served briefly as the public relations director of Children's Hospital of Michigan. She retired in 1985.

In 2000 she and her husband moved to Crystal Lake, IL where they were active in the lives of their grandchildren. The couple continued to travel extensively throughout the United States regularly visiting both coasts and the deep South.

Most important to her, Nancy loved being a grandmother, and her grandchildren returned that love.

She is survived by John, her husband of 54 years, her loving sister Phyllis and her husband Paul, her four children: Nancy Roach (Greg Crafts), John Roach (Sally Russell), Kate (Roach) Ballew (Cam Ballew), Greg Roach (Robin Meyer), and her grandchildren: Katie Roach Crafts, Andy Roach Crafts, Chas Ballew, Drake Ballew, Galen Ballew, Vaughn Ballew, Malcolm Roach, Ezekiel Roach, Henry Roach and Ethan Roach.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday March 10 in Crystal Lake, Illinois. For additional information, please contact Nancy Anne at 541-400-9664 or

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial donations to any of the following organizations:

o Planned Parenthood (

o Save the Children (

o National Public Radio (

Greg, we haven't met, but I'm a regular reader. I'm sorry for your loss.
Brother, if there is anything you need, we're here for you. If you're any indication, she was a helluva woman.

Amanda and I will keep you and yours in our thoughts. Be well.

Greg: Tara and I convey our deepest condolences. Let us know if there's anything we can do.
Greg -

We didn't work together long, but it was memorable.

I recently started googling names of past acquaintances, and am sorry to run across yours under such sad circumstances...

My deepest condolences, and drop me a line when you feel up to it.

Tim Honl
Greg - I only know you through your writing and your blog, but I would like to also offer my condolences.
Your mother's obituary paints a picture of a full and happy life. Sorry for your loss.
Hey many memories flooding back about all the gatherings at the house in GPP...even though I was the baby for so many years, your mom always made me feel so welcome in your home. She was a wonderful woman and aunt and I will miss seeing her. I always left our conversations with a smile on my face. Love to you, Robin and Ethan...and the rest of the Roach's.

Cousin Julie
sorry for the loss Greg
Greg- it seems that it was a long battle for your Mom--- I remember you posted a while back that you had some personal problems to deal with---my condolences to you and your family----but she is now out of pain and at peace--I know that's not much of a consolation--
I wish you well-- chbpod
Greg I'm sorry to hear of your loss, I also offer my condolences to you and all of your family at this sad time.
My deepest condolences, Greg
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