Edward B. “Ted” Roche

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

48 Comments

  • Naser Z. Alsharif Posted March 22, 2022 1:23 pm

    Rest in peace Dr. Roche. You were an inspiration and a class act for me as a pharmacy student, a graduate student and a faculty member. So sorry for your loss Vickie. Take care.

    • Victoria Roche Posted April 8, 2022 7:31 am

      Naser, thank you for your note of condolence. Ted was indeed a courageous and inspirational man. His loss has left a legacy that I know will live on in the hearts and through the actions of everyone who knew and loved him.

  • Keith Swanson (Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 1985) Posted March 22, 2022 1:27 pm

    I’ll always remember Ted’s presence in the classroom and his bigger than life smile and personality. Was clearly one of my favorite professors. I enjoyed visiting with him at AACP events and conventions.

  • Logan Franck Posted March 22, 2022 1:33 pm

    So sorry for your loss! Ted was an amazing professor and colleague to so many pharmacists and he will always be remembered for his ability to connect with those around him!

  • Sarah Arduser Posted March 22, 2022 1:37 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss! Dr. Roche was supportive of Kappa Psi for many years, and he still made an effort to be part of our UNMC chapter. We could not have been successful without him, and he will always leave a lasting impression on our Kappa Psi chapter. I am so grateful for his encouragement, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Grand Council Deputy. We have some big shoes to fill! May our fellow Brother rest in peace.

  • Charles Phillips Posted March 22, 2022 1:55 pm

    My condolences to Vickie and family. I remember his enthusiasm in class, but more importantly, our conversations in later years at AACP and APhA meetings. He was simply a great guy.

  • Wayne Walls PharmD RP Posted March 22, 2022 2:00 pm

    I will remember him and his help with school and Kappa Psi

  • Mike Naden Posted March 22, 2022 2:08 pm

    I still have a fond memory of Ted and Victoria staying with our family in Franklin years ago during a BRAN ride. It was enjoyable to be a host at that time! I remember Dr. Roche as being a pretty tough, but fair teacher. May he Rest In Peace .

  • John Reitan Posted March 22, 2022 2:31 pm

    Ted’s passing makes me sad. He (and you) were so very important during my years in Pharmacy School. You both left a lasting impact on my life. PS, Vicki, I now have 2 cats.

  • Emmett Powers Posted March 22, 2022 3:22 pm

    A truly inspiring man,, not just as a teacher, but as a testament to what overcoming obstacles really means..
    My heartfelt condolences. Emmett Powers (class off ‘78’)

  • Dale Michael Fitch Posted March 22, 2022 3:43 pm

    UNMC College of Pharmacy class of 1977. Dr. Roche was enjoyed by all in the class of 1977.

  • Debra Hawley Smolik Posted March 22, 2022 4:19 pm

    What a wonderful man to have in the UNMC college of pharmacy! What an incredible life an inspiration to many. I was a member of the Kappa Psi and graduate of UNMC college of pharmacy class Of 1999
    Prayers to the family during this celebration of his life.
    Debra Smolik

  • Kimberly Gollhofer Posted March 22, 2022 4:25 pm

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Dr. Roche was truly a gift to the College of Pharmacy.

  • Kelly Burch Posted March 22, 2022 5:13 pm

    Dr Roche spoke at a Lambda Chi formal that I attended the spring before I started the PharmD program in 1978. My date knew I was headed to Omaha for pharmacy school in the summer and he was so impressed by Dr Roche’s talk that he was envious of the kinds of people pharmacists are. That experience has stuck with me for awhile. What a good good man. His life truly was a lesson and a blessing.

  • Sue Heist Posted March 22, 2022 6:18 pm

    I’m sadden to hear of Ted’s passing. Vickie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Ted was my advisor in Graduate School but more than that he was a friend. He will be missed.

  • Anne Furasek, Class of 2010 Posted March 22, 2022 6:25 pm

    Dr. Roche was such a delight in the classroom and we were all so lucky to learn from him. Happy memories to your family, now during your time of loss and always.

  • Riley Bowen Posted March 22, 2022 6:33 pm

    My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. Dr. Roche was an inspiration and a the perfect image of what it means to dedicate yourself to something you care so much about, as he did for each and every student!

  • Robert Lassen Posted March 22, 2022 6:36 pm

    So sorry to hear the news I had classes under him and Dr Small in 70

  • Bob Anderson Posted March 22, 2022 7:24 pm

    Ted was one of a kind! He served his students, faculty and profession with much class. We send our condolences out to Vicki and the family!

  • Julie Cold Kissack Posted March 22, 2022 7:31 pm

    Thank you Vicky for sharing Ted with everyone. His positive impact was tangible. And many in the pharmacy world will be carrying Ted’s influence into their practice and their lives. May Ted Rest In Peace.

  • Bob Chapman Posted March 22, 2022 7:40 pm

    So sorry to hear of Ted’s recent illness and his passing. He was a remarkable man, a strong and happy man and a good friend. I’ll miss seeing him at conferences and spending time talking about all the goings on in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy education and life, in general. I know This will be true: “May his memory be for a blessing.” (Proverbs, 10:7)

  • Linda K Ohri Posted March 22, 2022 8:37 pm

    I grieve the loss and celebrate my experience of an inspirational man over the more than 50 years since he first became my mentor when I started pharmacy school at UNMC in 1970. During these years, he (and Vickie) became professional colleagues and dear friends. In recent years we shared many a rambling “remember when” chat on what pharmacy, our colleagues and students were doing and becoming. How blessed we all were to experience your presence among us, Ted!

  • Christopher ROY JOHNSON Posted March 23, 2022 6:40 am

    I will miss butting heads with my father-in-law. Your fire will be missed as well

  • Lon Lowrey Class of ‘71 Posted March 23, 2022 8:23 am

    I have such vivid and wonderful memories of Dr. Roche. He was very smart, a great mentor, truly an inspiration to all students.He was my advisor during my Presidency of Kappa Psi, and was always there for me when I needed a rescue! I was a prankster in his class. To pay me back, he gave me sand as my unknown in Med. Chem lab!! After exhausting all methods to dissolve my unknown, and this was a lot of time, I said “sand” and he said you’re right with a big grin!!
    Viki…may you find extreme comfort in the many wonderful memories of your life together.

  • Patrick Fuller Posted March 23, 2022 8:32 am

    Sending all our thoughts and prayers on your loss. Dr. Roche was a brilliant, kind, loving, caring person. He set the example for thousands. He taught with passion, he was professional in every sense of the word. He was the gold standard of a Kappa Psi Brother and the profession of pharmacy. I always enjoyed listening to his stories and hearing his laughter. Every time you met with him you left learning something new! You will be missed Dr. Roche. May the warm memories comfort your family and all those around you. May you rest in peace. Proud to Be Your Kappa Psi Brother, colleague and friend.

  • Ken Kester (class of 1985) Posted March 23, 2022 9:22 am

    Dr. Roche was one of a kind – warm, inspirational, an outstanding teacher and advocate for students. You have my deepest sympathy and warmest regards.

  • Monte Sue & Chris Bradberry Posted March 23, 2022 12:06 pm

    Dearest Vickie- what can you say about Ted. He is beyond description and probably the kindest person we every knew. A dear friend who always had a kind thing to say. We will miss him greatly as we know you will. God bless Ted, you and your family. Our love.

  • Bruce and Francine Clayton Posted March 23, 2022 2:24 pm

    When I received word of Ted Roche’s passing, I was taken back to early September, 1967, MorrIll Hall, UNL, first floor, northwest lecture room. Over Eighty students were in attendance when the faculty member approached the board and spelled out ROCHE. Thus was the introduction of the Pharmacy Class of ’70 to Dr. Roche, teaching our first course in the pharmacy curriculum, Inorganic Medicinal Chemistry. Little did any of us realize what an incalculable impact this young assistant professor would have on us over the next 55 years! He has received many well earned accolades, but the one area that cannot be overstated was his ability to mentor students. Outside of direct family, I consider him my greatest mentor through the way he lived and his spoken and unspoken counsel given over the years as professional colleagues. Rest in peace, Ted! Sincerest condolences to you, Vickie. You were a phenomenal support to Ted as he accomplished his role and mission in life!

  • James E. Berger Posted March 23, 2022 4:20 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Even us Old Timers are going to miss your friendship and Butler connections.. Such a loss. Jim

  • Gary Gilmour Posted March 23, 2022 6:58 pm

    I am very sad hearing the news of Ted’s death. I graduated from the COP way back in 1969. At that time, the COP was still part of the Lincoln campus. Ted Roche has always been one of the most important mentors in my life. The examples he set for his students, his organization of the class materials he taught, & his delivery of course materials, inspired me & others to try even harder. My deepest condolences to his family.

  • SUNNY OHIA Posted March 23, 2022 9:07 pm

    Words are inadequate to express my shock and sorrow at our loss of a fine gentleman who was a joy to interact with. I met Ted in summer 1991 just before starting my tenure as a new faculty member at Creighton University. We got off to a great start in our friendship that has lasted since then. I found Ted to be an individual who was very easy to talk to and who really liked others. I enjoyed his jokes and admired his cheery attitude to life, a trait that I have strived to emulate. I fondly remember the several meals that we shared together at their home and at the various pharmacy conferences. Eka and I will definitely miss Ted! We pray that God the Almighty grants Vicki the strength to mourn his irreplaceable loss. May his Soul Rest in Peace. Amen

  • Nan Roche Posted March 23, 2022 11:17 pm

    I think of my uncle Ted so often because of his strength and resilience in the face of terrific struggle. As I have gone through the many surgeries and pain I’ve had, he has been my inspiration to persevere, remain optimistic and never to give up living life. He never did. We had in common a love of science and it was always fun talking about chemistry though i was always the student. We would meet up every time he came to Washington,DC for conferences and the true Roche would emerge as we are a family of intense talkers. It was always so much fun to cover every imaginable topic, which of course we solved. He was interested in so many topics but science was always my favorite. He was strong, kind, honorable, humble, loving and a teacher and role model to me. My heart goes to Vicky and Beverly, Lydia and his grandchildren as they traverse their grief and loss. My uncle Ted will be sorely missed and I now realize all too late that I have squandered time.

  • Lisa Spellman Posted March 24, 2022 8:52 am

    Dr. Ted Roche was much beloved by the Native American community and will be greatly missed. May Tunkasila grant him peace as his spirit journeys on to the next life.

  • Laurey Steinke Posted March 24, 2022 10:34 am

    I am so very sorry to hear that Ted is gone. I will be out of town and unable to attend the celebration of his life–and there is much to celebrate! Ted was an early mentor in teaching–greeting me when I was introduced by Bill Chaney as the person who would be taking over leading biochemistry–and he impressed upon me the high calling and the duty we had towards our students. Over the years he became a friend, as we both loved the symphony and theater, and I will miss stopping to talk to him regularly. He was a great man, and a fantastic patron of the arts and I will miss him.

  • Thomas M Romanek R.P. Posted March 24, 2022 12:48 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Roche definitely helped me achieve my goal of being a Community Pharmacist and enabled me to help many people with a very rewarding career. I @m forever grateful.
    Class of 1969

  • Mary Reeg-Dhingra Posted March 24, 2022 3:52 pm

    One of the greatest professors I have ever had. He welcomed us with smiles, laughs and stories. Always there to support us and our endeavors. He wrote my recommendation for my Pharmacy residency which changed the course of my life. Rest in Peace Dr. Roche and may your family be blessed.

  • Floyd VanEngen Posted March 24, 2022 8:46 pm

    Dr Roche was definitely a favorite professor of mine. I have fond memories of class with Ted. I am sharing in the loss of someone who made the world a better place. Class of 1969.

  • John Paul Nelson Posted March 25, 2022 11:49 am

    Dr, Roche was a great professor and mentor. I consider myself privileged to have been one of his students. John Paul Nelson, class of 1978 & 81

  • Dean Arneson Posted March 25, 2022 12:06 pm

    One of the truly great professors who had a major impact on my life. I always appreciated his friendship and mentorship. Always a great inspiration. My thoughts and prayers go out to Vickie and his family.

  • Joseph P and Ruth R. Lacz Posted March 25, 2022 4:27 pm

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Roche’s passing. He was a true gentleman, intellectual and an inspiration to all of us. I considered him a friend. May he rest in peace. I hope that Vickie and his family can take great comfort in the fact that he had a positive influence on so many, many people.

  • Joseph Kucera UNMC College of Pharmacy Class of 1977 Posted March 25, 2022 4:41 pm

    Doctor Roche was an amazing Med Chem professor. His enthusiasm for everyone and everything was inspiring. I really got to know him well during my years in the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity.
    I am sorry for your loss Victoria.

  • Ramadas Balasubramanian (PharmD. Class of 1986) Posted March 25, 2022 5:49 pm

    I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my mentor, and beloved Medicinal Chemistry Professor Dr. Ted Roche, My sincere and heartfelt condolences to you, Vickie and your family for this great loss. Dr. Roche was the kindest and caring person I have known. I owe my Pharmacy Career to him. With his personal characteristic “nod”, smiles and blessings, I started my PharmD education at UNMC College of Pharmacy in 1982 and I will forever think of Dr. Roche for his vision, caring and blessings. He cared for ALL of us. He was a role model as a teacher and a caring human being. I am going to miss him now and for ever. I always looked forward to meeting with him whenever I visited Omaha, NE. .Again, my personal, sincere and heartfelt condolences to you, Vickie for the loss of your beloved husband and my revered teacher and mentor, Dr. Ted Roche. My sincere and heartfelt sympathies to all your family. Thinking of smiling Dr. Ted Roche, Ramadas Balasubramanian (Balu) in Charlotte, NC

  • Floyd and Pam Knoop Posted March 25, 2022 6:47 pm

    Dear Vickie,
    We are saddened by Ted’s recent death. He was an exceptional individual and will be sorely missed. Prayers and peace are with you at this time of sorrow.

    In Deepest Sympathy,
    Pam and Floyd

  • Robert Childress Posted March 26, 2022 5:43 pm

    Our loss of Ted is far reaching and covers years since his time in Indianapolis. My admiration for his dynamic personality started as students in the College of Pharmacy, Butler University. My most appreciated memory is that no matter how many years passed between seeing or communicating, Ted always made it seem like we had been in constant contact. He was truly one of a kind. My condolences to Vicki and the family.

  • Bob Piepho Posted March 27, 2022 5:48 pm

    Ted was the best of friends for over 50 years. He was my first mentor after finishing the Ph.D. program and joining the faculty at University of Nebraska, and the journey through academic life was made easier because of his advice and guidance. The best adjective to describe Ted would be resilient, as nothing could dampen his spirit, even the dreaded disease that frightened all of us raised in the early 50’s. He always faced life with a smile and shared that spirit with all those that he met. Ted was simply the best of humanity, and all who met him will always retain a little bit of goodness because of it. May he rest in peace and may God comfort Vickie and his family.

  • Charise Alexander Adams Posted March 28, 2022 3:30 pm

    Our sincere condolences to our colleague Vickie and the rest of Ted’s family. Though we did not know Ted personally, what a joy and a testament to see so many dear memories shared here. May you experience comfort, love, and peace in the wake of this loss.

  • Kim and Mike Galt Posted March 29, 2022 10:00 am

    We are grateful for the wonderful times we had in our early years in Omaha at UNMC, knowing Ted as a kind and strong professional leader, and bringing forth his wonderful humor to us all. Always a smile, a laugh, a warm greeting, unselfishly sharing his generous heart. Vickie, we pray that God looks upon you with kindness, provides guidance and strength to you in your time of loss. May God be with you and your loved ones and may Ted rest in peace.

  • Susan Meyer Posted March 30, 2022 9:19 am

    Vickie: My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your extended family. I was saddened to learn of Ted’s passing, yet memories of connecting with you and Ted at least annually at AACP meetings still makes me smile. Ted always conveyed a warmth and genuine happiness at being with friends and colleagues.

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