John J. Roche (1944/06/29)
A heart attack at age thirty-three felled a former construction worker and soldier.
John Joseph Roche was born April 23, 1911. Additional information regarding his parentage, place of birth or siblings has not surfaced. At the time of his enlistment, John lived in San Francisco where he may have attended high school for two years.
After high school, Roche worked as a skilled machinery operator in the construction trades. John married, and he and his wife Louise became active members of All Hallows Catholic Church in San Francisco. The couple later had a daughter, Marie.
On December 29, 1943, John Roche was inducted into the US Army and sent to a basic training facility. During his absence, Louise and Marie moved to the Pajaro Valley where they acquired a home in Watsonville. Following basic training, Private John Roche was stationed at Camp Hulen, Texas, near Palacios.
In January 1944, Camp Hulen was used as a detention center for German prisoners of war and Roche may have been in a unit supporting that operation. While serving at the camp, Private John L. Roche suffered a fatal heart attack on June 29, 1944, and died.
His remains were returned to Watsonville, accompanied by an army buddy, and following a funeral at St. Patrick's Church on July 6, 1944, were interred in Watsonville Catholic Cemetery.
(NARA2; WRP June 30, 1944 1:8, July 5, 1944 1:1)