Sunday, February 22, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and beverages will be served.
Monday, February 23, 2015
2:00 PM EST
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 W. Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Private burial at Memorial Park Cemetery, Battle Creek
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
William P. Roschek was a rare person in that he was always happy. He greeted life with enormous energy and a positive attitude. His quick wit and dry sense of humor complemented the forthright way in which he stated his opinions. His mind was always clicking even as his body was always moving. He had one speed and that was full throttle. Pushing himself to succeed, his family was the beneficiary of his care and compassion. Bill made friends easily and kept them for life. Open and honest, he never hid things from anyone. Cheerful and at times goofy, he made life fun for those around him. Loving and devoted, Bill lived out the Catholic faith that was extremely important to him.
Bill was born during a time of optimism in American life. Growth in industry and jobs gave workers the opportunity to build homes and start families that launched the baby boom era. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Urban and Beverly (Jones) Roschek welcomed their second child on March 5, 1949, exactly one year after the birth of their oldest son, Mike. Bill and his three siblings—Mike, Jim and Judy—grew up on Ottawa Street in Kalamazoo and took full advantage of the neighborhood. Bill liked being outdoors and enjoyed the freedom of biking everywhere. He was active in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, played Little League and golf, caddied at the Elks Club with his brothers, was very social, and still got all “A”s in school at St. Augustine Elementary. In Hackett High School, he continued to excel academically, served as class president and was involved in debate and numerous Catholic organizations.
After graduation 1967, he was ready to start Western Michigan University, but a tragic event changed his course. Bill sustained an accident at his summer job, Georgia Pacific, just two days before he was meant to enter WMU in Business Management/Marketing. He nearly lost an arm and was forced to delay his studies. He ended up dropping out early in the first semester and started working full time at GP. A happy consequence of his difficulties was meeting the woman who would become his wife. Kathy Harrison, a recent office administration graduate of Michigan State University, came to work at Georgia Pacific. She and Bill hit it off right away, falling in love at first sight. Their engagement was very brief when they decided to get married on July 23, 1971 at St. Thomas More Parish. The newlyweds drove to Toronto for their honeymoon and filled the trunk of the car with liquor for the ride back. The William Roscheks began their family with the birth of Lisa in 1975. At the same time, the senior Bill was attending night school to earn a bachelor’s degree while working full time. It was cases of cigarettes and Coke that got him through the long nights.
From the beginning, Bill and Kathy were very engaged parents and showed support by being involved in whatever was important to their children. Bill was a Cub Scout leader for Bill, Jr. and both Bill and Kathy went to every swim meet and soccer game for both kids throughout high school and college.
Bill traveled as a sales representative with GP and proved to be a natural. He was expert at his job and liked dealing with straight shooters. After ten years, his company moved him and his family to Aurora, Illinois, but within five years they were back in Kalamazoo. Bill made a slight change in career when he went to work in the steel industry. He traveled internationally for businesses in North Carolina and Chicago area and turned both of them around. He was active in industry organizations to better position his companies in their industries.
Early retirement pressed upon him when Bill suffered a heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery. Life changed dramatically, but he took on the challenge of staying at home. He managed everything from running errands and shopping to cooking and taking care of Kathy, who was still working at the time. Bill called himself "Kathy’s house boy" but he could have also been called “master chef.” He was a great cook, making simple yet nutritious meals, and he became a determined athlete. Bill started walking for exercise but then felt good enough to start running. In time, he was running half marathons and inspiring Kathy to run 5Ks. Bill was motivated to stay in shape and liked competing, but he also like the camaraderie of running. He made many friends among his Sole Sisters as the only man in the group.
Only golf superseded his passion for running. He was on the board of the Kalamazoo Municipal Golf Association and played as often as Kathy would allow, with anyone who was willing to swing a club.
Bill also liked to travel. He took many trips to Florida to see his son's family and drove out west to visit his daughter. On one venture, he and daughter Lisa drove from Michigan to Alaska. Bill and Kathy enjoyed Ireland in 2010 and Hawaii in 2014, but no matter where they were, the two of them loved being together.
Love of family always included Bill’s extended family. He remained a great brother to his siblings and was always making sure everyone was taken care of. He spent a lot of time outside and went on field trips with his granddaughters, but he wasn’t above having tea parties with them, too. Bill adored them, to say the least.
Though Bill was always on the go with sports or other activities, he was also content with a good book. He read histories and biographies of WWI and WWII in addition to Tom Clancy and adventures stories. He followed the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees, but he was most invested in NCAA sports. Bill held season tickets to MSU football games, which meant tailgating with friends and enjoying Miller Highlife in a longneck bottle, his “champagne of beers.”
Bill was a wonderful family man and true friend. He will be greatly missed and forever cherished by those who knew and loved him.
William P. Roschek, age 65 of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died unexpectedly at his home on Thursday, February 19, 2015. Members of his family include his wife of 44 years, Kathy Roschek; 2 children: Lisa Roschek and Bill Roschek, Jr. (Erica Jones); 2 granddaughters: Avery and Emerson; 3 siblings: Mike Roschek, Jim (Ann Marie) Roschek and Judy Kuehnle and many nieces and nephews. Visit with his family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Sunday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler - Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive; (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday 2:00 PM at St.Augustine Cathedral, where Bill was an active member. Private burial will take place at Memorial Park Cemetery, Battle Creek.
Please visit Bill’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Ministry with Community or Catholic Family Services.