Gerard R. Roche, a longtime resident of Chappaqua, NY, before moving to Hobe Sound, FL, passed away peacefully in Hobe Sound on Saturday, September 1.
Gerry was born in Scranton, PA on July 27, 1931 spending his early years working in the family-owned grocery store. He was the son of the late Joseph Roche and Amelia (Garcia) Roche, and the brother of his devoted sister, Helen (Roche) Costa and Joseph Roche, who died shortly after his birth. Gerry attended St. Patrick’s High School, where he played basketball and football. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Philosophy from the University of Scranton, a Masters of Business Administration from New York University, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Scranton.
After college, Gerry joined the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1955. He then began a successful business career working at AT&T, ABC and the Kordite Corporation before joining Heidrick & Struggles in 1964. During his more than 50 years with Heidrick & Struggles, Gerry held many positions including President & CEO, and Chairman but his biggest love was executive search work. He worked with hundreds of corporations and their boards identifying senior executives in almost every function and industry. In 1999, he was named “Recruiter of the Century” in a poll conducted by his industry peers. Gerry was a member of the Knights of Malta and a former chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of Scranton. He is a past member of the executive council of The Inner City Scholarship Fund, the executive board of the Wharton Business School, and the advisory council of The Divinity School at Harvard University. Gerry sat on numerous boards including Heidrick & Struggles, Gulfstream Aerospace, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and Safe Water Network.
Gerry was married to the love of his life, Marie, who passed away in June, for more than 61 years and now their love story is able to continue. Together they raised three children, Mary Haag, Anne Roche, and Paul Roche.
Gerry is survived by his three children; his sister, Helen; his seven grandchildren, Michael, Kevin, and Molly Haag, and Megan, Jack, Max, and Sam Roche; his nieces, Patti Butchko and her husband Bob, Sue Vandermark and her husband Bill, and Chrissy Kassebaum and her husband Stephen; his nephews, Toby Costa and Chad Costa; and numerous cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews. The family will receive friends at the Beecher Flooks Funeral Home at 418 Bedford Road in Pleasantville, NY on Thursday from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11:00 AM at St. John & St. Mary R.C. Church in Chappaqua, NY. Burial will be on Saturday at 11:00 AM in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton, PA.