Sky Scene 07

Jean M. (nee Woods) Roche

May 19, 1940 ~ July 29, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


Jean Marie Roche (née Woods) of Park Ridge; loving wife of the late James Richard Roche; loving mother of Anne Marie (Charles) Magolske, John, and Kathleen Roche. Devoted grandmother of Elizabeth (Evan) Alexander, Caroline, James, Jacqueline, Grace and Colette Magolske, late Julianna, Amelia and Audrey Roche. Devoted sister of Maureen Woods, Joan (late John) Cunningham and Peter (late Mary Kay) Woods; and devoted aunt of many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Agnes (née Malee) and John Woods and her sister Mary Woods.

Jean grew up in Resurrection Parish on Chicago’s West Side and graduated from Siena High School (1958) and Mundelein College (1962). She continued her education at Northeastern University and completed many hours beyond her master’s degree. She developed lifelong friendships during these years. She was an active member for decades of her parish’s St. Thomas Aquinas Guild. She was a girlfriend’s girlfriend. She and her identical twin sister Joan worked together at the Catholic newspaper, the Chicago New World, throughout high school and college. She began her career with the Chicago Public Schools in 1962 as a grade school teacher. She worked in numerous schools throughout the CPS and was highly respected by her co-workers. During her nearly four decade career of educating and caring for students throughout Chicago, Jean held different positions as a teacher, special education instructor, and finally as a valued, nationally certified school counselor. Jean was a consummate professional who balanced a successful career with raising a family along with her loving and devoted husband, Jim. If she and Jim were walking together, they were holding hands. Upon her retirement they enjoyed beginning each day together with daily Mass, where they often saw her sisters and girlfriends. She loved to travel, and she and the girls traveled the world on too many tours to count. She most enjoyed any time she could spend in Ireland, especially her ancestral home of Westport and its surrounding area. She always had a book to read and spent many years bringing her children to the library. Jean played the piano beautifully and especially enjoyed attending the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera. She was a quick study who prepared for every meeting, and every doctor’s meeting was peppered with many thoughtful questions. There is nothing in her life that was more important to her than time she spent with her husband and family including her large extended family, many of whom lived within walking distance of her home. She and Jim adored every new grandchild and were wonderful babysitters who even traveled to Paris to help take care of a toddler and newborn. She never tired of hearing about the details of each child’s day and also enjoyed working as a teacher with her grandchildren, as they learned their math facts and to write their letters and read. She loved to have pizza parties, preferably Lou Malnati’s, with her grandchildren. She often enjoyed a cup of tea or, in the evening, a Manhattan. For all of her stunning, natural Irish beauty and love of pretty clothes and jewelry, she never sought the spotlight for herself. Jean was a lovely lady and we will all miss her very much.

Visitation Thursday, Aug. 3, 3 to 8 p.m. at the Ryan-Parke Funeral Home, 120 S. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge. Funeral Friday, Aug. 4. St. Paul of the Cross Church. Mass 10 a.m. Interment All Saints Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to The Willows Academy and Northridge Preparatory School appreciated.      

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August 3, 2023

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ryan-Parke Funeral Home
120 S. Northwest Hwy.
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Funeral Mass
August 4, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Paul of the Cross Church
140 South Northwest Hwy.
Park Ridge, IL 60068


All Saints Cemetery


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