Edward B. “Ted” Roche
April 29, 1938 – March 20, 2022
VISITATION: Monday, March 28th from 5pm to 7pm at West Center Chapel. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Tuesday, March 29th at 10:30am at West Center Chapel. Interment: Evergreen Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Bellevue Little Theatre, the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company, KVNO Radio at UNO and Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.
To view a live broadcast of the Celebration of Life Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
After living a full and inspirational life defined by courage, commitment and a genuine love of people, Ted Roche died peacefully in his sleep at Clarkson Hospital with his wife of 45 years by his side. Ted was born in Stamford, Connecticut, but grew up in Indianapolis. In 1952, at the age of 14, he contracted polio. Although the disease cost him the use of his legs, it didn’t slow him down one bit; in fact, he routinely said that 14 was the ideal age to face polio because young people always felt invincible. And invincible he truly was, as evidenced by him keeping up with (or leading) friends on walking tours of San Francisco and Boston, riding every Disney World ride they would let him on (all but Space Mountain), and covering every inch of every college campus on which he studied or taught on leg braces and canes.
After graduating from Shortridge High School (where he will be honored with induction into their Hall of Fame in June of this year), Ted attended Butler University and earned a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1961. Driven by a love of chemistry and discovery, he earned the Ph.D. degree in Medicinal Chemistry in 1966 from The Ohio State University, studying under the mentorship of Dr. Lemont B. Kier. That same year Ted joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy, thinking he might stay on there for five-eight years. Instead, after 48 years of dedicated faculty and administrative service (including his long-standing role as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and nearly one year as Interim Dean), he retired in 2014, staying active with its educational and student development initiatives until his death. Ted was a beloved educator of literally thousands of pharmacy and graduate students, and the recipient of numerous teaching and service awards, including the College’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2008), the Kappa Psi Grand Council Deputy Certificate of Excellence Award (2009), the UNMC Outstanding Teaching Award (2010) and the Honorary UNMC Alumnus Award (2012). He was also recognized by his Pharmacy alma maters with the Butler Distinguished Alumni Award (2004) and the Ohio State Jack Beal Post-Baccalaureate Alumni Award (2009). Professionally, Ted was a “fixture” at annual meetings of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), holding elected and appointed leadership roles at both organizations. In 2018 he was recognized with the coveted James E. Wynn Memorial Award from AACP’s Section of Teachers of Chemistry. Ted was also a long-standing member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
In 1959 Ted married Mary Davison and they had two daughters, Janet Lynn (deceased) and Beverly Ann. In 1976 he married Victoria Ann Frisbie, also a medicinal chemist (their standing joke was that medicinal chemists are only allowed to marry each other). In addition to chemistry and pharmacy education, they shared a love of the arts, and were active supporters of the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, KVNO classical radio and community theatre, most notably the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company and the Bellevue Little Theatre, where Ted served several terms as Board President. Ted was also a champion for polio survivors everywhere, serving on the Board of the Nebraska Polio Survivors Association, including as Board President. He was eager to educate anyone and everyone on his experiences as a survivor of polio and post-polio syndrome and responded to questions and concerns of survivors from across the country.
Ted made friends everywhere he went. People were instinctively drawn to his good heart, positivity, ever-present smile, and ability to spin sometimes lengthy but always interesting stories. He was invariably the last to leave any party or gathering. It will likely surprise no one that he was a member of the Optimist Club of Omaha. Despite not being able to ride a bike, he was a member of the Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska (BRAN) leadership team, heading up the rider support program for over a decade. Using the “handle” Ranger, he spent one glorious week each spring parked at the side of the road providing fruit and water to riders who stopped to rest and gab awhile with him. Northwest Rotary (BRAN’s sponsor) even established a scholarship in his honor for a deserving UNMC Pharmacy student.
Ted was preceded in death by parents, Austin O. Roche, Jr. and Martha R. Roche; daughter, Janet; brother, Austin O. Roche III. He is survived by wife, Victoria; daughter, Beverly (Carter Campbell); sister, Lydia Buchmann (Gordon); large and loving family include granddaughter, Marisa McRae (Matt); grandsons, Christopher Paul Johnson (Christa) and Ethan Roche (Kristin); great-grandson, Drakkan Johnson; brothers-in-law, Mark Frisbie (Karen) and Stephen Frisbie (Michelle); nieces: Nan Bender (John), Robin Roche, Carli Stoller (Tim), Angela Boettner (Mic), Jennifer Lesac (Brian) and Samantha Frisbie; nephews: Austin Roche IV (Pam), Chris Roche (Diane), Luke Buchmann (Anne), Paul Buchmann (Lee) and Luke Frisbie; and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews, all beloved.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE will be held on Tuesday, March 29th at 10:30 a.m. at Heafey Hoffman Dworak Cutler Westside Chapel with VISITATION on Monday, March 28th from 5pm to 7pm. A brief graveside internment ceremony and luncheon will follow Tuesday’s service.
To view a live broadcast of the Celebration of Life Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page. This will be archived for 60 days to accommodate those not able to attend. Memorials are suggested to the Bellevue Little Theatre, Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company, KVNO Radio at UNO and the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.