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Judy Roach

Thursday, February 4, 2021
Judy Roach

A host of Heavenly angels came to add Judy Ruth Roach to their magnificent choir on Jan. 27, 2021. She may not be the best singer in that choir, but she will certainly give it a try. And those of us who know her best know that she is making them laugh and entertaining them right now.

She is survived by her nephew, Travis “Trey” Morgan Roach III (wife Katy and children Thomason William “Bo” and Louisa Pryde) of Dallas; her two nieces, Katelyn Davis (husband Pat and children Jack Bear and Walter Michael “Wally”) of Austin; and Courtney Roach of Austin. She is further survived by her “Sisters from Another Mother” Judy Casey and Toni Luttrell, friends of almost 45 years.

Judy was born July 13, 1947, in Hamilton, to Travis “Pete” Morgan Roach Jr. and Juanita “Tissie” Leona Roach, both longtime residents.

Her father’s job as coach and superintendent moved the family throughout Texas during her youth. She lived in many towns including Hamilton, Cisco, Rosebud and Marlin, making friends everywhere. She graduated from Cisco High School in 1965.

She went on to attend Texas Tech University, rooming with her cousin Frances Florey Bessire, and graduating in 1969 with a degree in education and specializing in Speech Language Pathology.

In her professional life she was a star – first as a speech pathologist, then at the Better Business Bureau of Austin and Central Texas. She hit her stride at the law firm of Baker Botts in Austin, where she became a lobbyist and realized her life’s passion. She joined her dear friends Cliff Johnson, Clay Pope and the late Reggie Bashur in private practice in 2002.

She has been described as an inspiration, a mentor and even an icon at the Texas Capitol.

Making life-long friends at every stop in her accomplished career was the norm for Judy. Throughout her work life, many a co-worker camped out in her office, laughing about the day’s events, telling stories and simply enjoying her company. Of course, she loved a good laugh herself, and she was a darn good practical joker as well.

Judy retired during the illness of her mother to move back home in 2007 where she felt deeply connected and grateful for Hamilton’s family-like community.

In addition to being hilarious and a spontaneous, fun person, she possessed a heart of gold and a fierce loyalty to her family and friends. She was devoted to them, and the feeling was mutual. Not many people can say at age 73 that they still maintain close friendships with their middle school and high school friends, but Judy could. As one of “The Texas 4 ½” – all high school friends – they could converse for hours and relive their antics of the past.

People turned to Judy when in trouble, when their hearts were broken or just because they needed an encouraging word of support. She was always there to listen, to counsel, to analyze or to joke you out of your despair.

Her interests were varied –she was proud to have been the Hamilton County Republican Chair. She loved gardening, and the fruits of her labor showed. In the unbearable Texas summer heat, she weeded, watered and lovingly took care of her plants. She was rewarded with her own sense of accomplishment, but it didn’t hurt having her yard named “Yard of the Month” either.

But by far, she loved the University of Texas and its sports programs most. Perhaps this was attributable to her father being a coach and her brother an All Southwest Conference lineman at UT.

Judy had the fanciest, most deluxe, super premium cable package in the Hamilton County area to watch the Longhorns play football every week in the fall. As an avid fan, she could watch football games (or actually any sport) any time, day or night, in any language. College or professional football… it didn’t matter, she’d be watching it. Judy could rival any NFL coach with her knowledge of players and their positions. Her play-calling abilities would amaze an ESPN sportscaster. She was recently appointed as an advisor to the UT Sports Department.

Judy was warmly welcomed into heaven by her parents, her loving brother Travis and an infant sister, Marilyn. She will be forever missed by her family, friends and all lucky enough to have known her.

The funeral and celebration of Judy’s life will be Friday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. A brief graveside service will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Unfortunately, in these days of Covid-19, no formal reception will take place.

For the safety and comfort of everyone, masks will be required (no exceptions), and social distancing will be practiced.

Memorials may made to the Travis M. Roach Jr. Memorial Scholarship, The Longhorn Foundation, Box 7399, Austin, Texas 78713; or First United Methodist Church, 215 Main St., Hamilton, Texas 76531.

God speed to you, Judy – you will never be forgotten.