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Robert Roach

Robert David Roach, 55, of Hines, died unexpectedly Nov. 7, 2010 in his yard on Blackduck Lake.

His life will be celebrated in a memorial service Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tenstrike Community Church in Tenstrike.

There will be an opportunity to greet the family, in a casual visitation time, Nov. 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Fellowship Center Lounge at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji.

Cease Family Funeral Home of Blackduck assisted the family with arrangements.

He was born Sept. 25, 1955 in Elmhurst, IL to Richard C. and Ruth A. Roach. His first years of life were spent on the Iron Range as his father was a circuit preacher to the lumberjacks. The family moved to Duluth where his childhood was spent.

He was leading adult Sunday school classes at age 16 and was a commentator on the live broadcast of church services. He graduated from East High School in 1973 and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Magna cum laude, from University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1976, then worked in animal virus research at University of Minnesota in the cities.

He married Carla Paulson in 1976 and served at Golden Congregational Church in Ryan, IA until graduating from Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque IA with Master of Divinity with Highest Honor in 1980. He was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA May 25, 1980.

His first pastorate was at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Babbitt. In 1983 the family moved to Brandon, SD where he served the First Presbyterian Church from 1983-1993. The family had a hobby farm in Valley Springs. He served as president of the South Dakota Homeschool Association, managed Presbytery camps, was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, a freelance writer, was involved in the South Dakota Republican Party and also served as a minority speaker for the right to life issue in the Presbytery.

The family moved to Merritt Island, FL in 1993 when he was called to serve as pastor of the Merritt Island Presbyterian Church. He was excited to live in Florida for a time, as it gave a whole new perspective on his love of nature and technology.

After a divorce from Carla in 1995, he was married to Laraine T. (Gaddis) Dernier. They continued to live in Merritt Island and then in Melbourne, FL as he served as a career counselor, teacher, college librarian and principal, among other positions.

In 2005, following the leading of the Lord, the couple moved to northern Minnesota and found a place to serve at Tenstrike Community Church. He was awarded with a Doctor of Ministry degree in March of 2006 from Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, FL, his emphasis on Leadership Development.

He had served as principal of Heartland Christian Academy from 2006-2010. He was recently searching and praying for direction on where the Lord would have him serve next.

He loved life, learning and sharing his knowledge with others. His best gift was to be an encourager. He was passionate about the things that he put value in, first of all the Word of God, his family, his friends, his gardening, rock and fossil collecting, aquariums and raising birds, study and observation of the universe, archery, firearms, deer hunting and teaching of all of the above.

Everything he put his hand to became an experiment including his love of cooking, baking and canning the wonderful fruits and vegetables he grew and nurtured.

He is survived by his wife, Laraine T. Roach of Blackduck Lake; seven children, David (Keturah) Roach of Akron, OH, Sarah Sumrall (Matthew) of Rowlett, TX, Justin (Stephanie) Dernier of Cocoa, FL, Hannah (Kaleb) Tuimala of Chatham, MI, Dane (Kayla) Dernier of W. Melbourne, FL, Rachel Roach of Chatham, MI and Amelia Rose Dernier of Blackduck Lake; 12 grandchildren; a sister, Margaret Hasskamp of Dallas, TX and brothers Richard (Priscilla) Roach of Kalamazoo, MI and William (Debbie) Roach of Duluth.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three premature grandchildren.

Condolences may be sent to www.ceasefuneral