Michael Sean Roach, 44, of Fairfield, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Benefis West Transitional Care Unit. A private memorial service for immediate family was on Wed. Aug. 14. A celebration of Mike's life, open to everyone, is 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Fairfield City Park. Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home in Choteau is handling the arrangements.
Mike was born on July 24, 1968, in Laramie, Wyo. to Paul and Patricia Roach. Mike has lived in Fairfield since he was 10 years old. Mike attended Greenfield school and graduated from Fairfield High School. He received an Associate of Arts degree at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the College of Great Falls. Mike worked in the hotel industry in Great Falls and Colorado Springs and later worked as a weather observer at Cut Bank airport. Mike also worked for years at the USDA office in Choteau until he had to retire due to his illness in the summer of 2009.
Mike loved to golf, and when he wasn't at the golf course he was driving golf balls into the field by his home. He also enjoyed playing basketball, fishing and hiking. He loved football and was an avid Denver Broncos fan. Mike was very bright, with methodical research skills, which he used in the last few years before his illness to develop a memory course for college students. He was well-read and well-informed, enjoyed discussing politics, and responded to several editorials in the Great Falls tribune. World peace was very important to Mike. He loved animals, especially his beloved cat, Charlie.
Mike was a genuine person - kind, honest, and fun loving. He loved his family very much. He was diagnosed with ALS in January of 2009, at 40 years old. After Mike's diagnosis of ALS, he enjoyed watching old TV shows, movies, and listening to music. Michael was extraordinarily brave throughout his battle with ALS, always greeting his loved ones with his big smile that could warm any heart. He was our hero and will always be loved. We will deeply miss him; may his soul now rest in peace.
Survivors include his parents, Patricia Roach, of Fairfield, and Paul and Marge Roach of Laramie, Wyo.; sisters Judy Roach, of Portland, Ore., Cathy Roach-Deboo, and her husband Mark Deboo, from Valier; nephews Michael Roach, of Portland, Ore., and Trenton Roach-Deboo, of Valier; step-brothers Brent, David, and Brad Wenger; uncles Mike, Dick, and Eddy Roach; aunts Rita Schweibinz and Mary Donahue; and numerous cousins. And last but not least, his beloved cat Charlie.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Florence and Verne Ayers; paternal grandparents Ed and Dorothy Roach; aunt, Lila Hohl of Billings and her son, Dennis Dresden; and great-aunt Shirley Snider of Fairfield.
Memorial donations may be made to the ALS Association Evergreen Chapter, 19115 68th Avenue S., Suite H-105, Kent, WA, 98032.
Condolences may be left online at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com