Thomas ‘Tom’ L. Roche, aerospace engineer

December 14, 2020

Thomas “Tom” L. Roche, 86, unexpectedly passed away Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.

A native Washingtonian, he was born in Washington, D.C., May 21, 1934, to James and Llewelyn Roche.

Tom was a Navy veteran of the Korean War and a lifetime member of the VFW of Ocean View.

He was married for 54 years to the love of his life, Jean (Pigott), who predeceased him in 2018. They raised their two daughters, Andrea Barron-Hughes, of Canton, Ga., and Karen (Gil) Briggs, of Olney, Md.

Tom had an extensive 38-year career at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., where he worked as an aerospace engineer. He received numerous awards including the Missile Defense Technology Pioneer Award for his work. During his time there, he was a member of the APL softball team, gun, golf, bowling and garden clubs.

Tom and his wife had been a part of the South Bethany community since 1978 and were full-time residents upon their retirement. They spent wonderful years enjoying the beach, crabbing and the water, and many wonderful family memories with their six grandchildren, Albert, Billy, Luke, Shelby, Taylor and Logan. Tom was involved in numerous activities during his time living in South Bethany, including a genealogy club, the Men’s Club at St. Ann’s Catholic Parish and a golf club. He enjoyed his Redskins, traveling, stained-glass making and his poker playing. Tom will be greatly missed by his many friends, co-workers, and especially his loving family.

Funeral services will be private, but a celebration of life will be held locally sometime next year. Friends and family will be notified.

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