Evan Roche, OFM
1918 – 2001
Fr. Evan Roche, OFM, was born Jan. 29, 1918 in Newark, N.J. He was enrolled in St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1936 before being received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1938. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1942 and was ordained in 1944. By that time, he had earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the Franciscan Institute, Allegany, N.Y.
His first priestly assignment was to St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, where he taught philosophy, served as a spiritual director and pursued doctoral studies at the institute under renowned medievalist, Fr. Philotheus Boehner. Fr. Evan was awarded the doctorate in 1947, the second of 18 awarded by the institute over the years. In 1955, he was assigned to St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H., as master of clerics and professor of philosophy.
Four years later, he returned to St. Bonaventure University until 1964, when he moved to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y. He chaired the philosophy departments at both schools. Fr. Evan taught at Siena College for 24 years as a popular, dynamic classroom teacher. He had heart-valve surgery in 1983, but continued at Siena until 1988, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. Taking up residence with the Conventual friars at Our Lady of Angels Parish, Albany, N.Y., he taught for a couple of years at Maria College and assisted in the parish until 1998, when he returned to the Siena friary. He transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J., in 2000.
He died on March 3, 2001 in Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, N.Y. Fr. Evan was 83 years old, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 56 years.