George Arnold Roach

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George Arnold Roach

July 28, 1929 - November 03, 2018

Merrill, ME and Clearwater, FL Col. George Arnold Roach
Well-known Maine potato grower and Democratic Party activist Colonel George Arnold Roach passed away on November 3, 2018. Arnold, as he was known to his many friends and colleagues, was born July 28, 1929, in Rockland, Maine, the eldest child of Herbert and Nora (Nelson) Roach.
A graduate of Ricker College, Arnold proudly served for more than fifty years with the Maine Army National Guard, received the United States Army Meritorious Service Medal and became certified in field artillery, air defense, and command. Arnold was a patriotic man who was honored to serve his country. He retired from the guard at the rank of Colonel.
Arnold was a third-generation potato grower. He and his wife, Joyce (McKay) Roach, owned and operated Forest Home Farms in Smyrna Mills, a growing and packing operation with a national reputation for producing Grade-A table stock and seed potatoes, fine grains and mustard. His father, Herb, and his grandfather, Azial Roach, owned and operated the farm before him. Arnold was dedicated to improving the quality and number of Maine potatoes, as well as advancing the industry's international reputation. He was chairman of the Maine Potato Commission, the National Potato Promotion Board (which advertises US potatoes worldwide), chairman of the National Potato Board, National Potato Council, Maine Potato Board, Maine Potato Council, Advisory Board, and the New York Mercantile Exchange Advisory Board. He also served as Aid de Camp to former Maine Governor Joseph Brennan.
His hard work and dedication to the entire State of Maine, as well to the Maine potato industry, caught the attention of President William Jefferson Clinton, who in 1991 appointed Arnold as Maine state director of the United States Farm Service Agency, a position he held until he retired in 2001. He also served as a member of the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team. Arnold's expertise in agriculture was also called upon to help other nations improve their agricultural programs, and during that time he was able to travel extensively to other countries. He was most satisfied with his trips to Russia and China, where he met with local farmers, exchanged ideas, and made many lasting friendships.
Arnold was also active in his community, serving on the Northern Maine Regional Planning Commission, the Governor's Small Business Advisory Commission, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Aroostook Community School District, and moderator for local town meetings in Merrill and Smyrna. He was a member of the American Legion; the Retired Officers Association, and the Elks Club, and both he and his Joyce were active Democrats, serving on committees and attending caucuses.
More than anything else, Arnold enjoyed spending time with family at his beloved home on the hill overlooking downtown Smyrna Mills, and at the family's cottage on Pleasant Lake in Island Falls. He also enjoyed his winter home in Pinellas Park, Florida, which he and Joyce purchased together many years ago, and later his condo in Clearwater, Florida.
Arnold is survived by three daughters, Diane Tardy and her husband, Michael, of Beaverton, Oregon, Suzanne Spruce of Bangor, and Elizabeth Roach of Washington, DC; two granddaughters, Jessica Bynum of Beaverton, Oregon and her husband, Michael, and Sarah Spruce of Boston; and one grandson, Andrew Spruce of Washington, DC; and a great-granddaughter, Nora, of Portland, Oregon; and his current wife, Rosemary Thatch and her family, of Clearwater, Florida. He will also be missed by his many friends from throughout The County, state and nation. Arnold was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Joyce, his parents, Nora and Herbert, and his sister, Barbara Roach, RN.
Memorial services will be held in Clearwater, Florida, and Houlton, Maine, at dates to be announced later. Arnold asked that those wishing to remember him in a special way make a gift to the Dollars for Scholars program at Southern Aroostook Community School, 922 Dyer Brook Road, Dyer Brook, Me. 04747.
Published on November 5, 2018
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29 {i18n(OBITS_POSTS)

Daniel Deveau
Nov 19, 2018
I was on the National Potato Board with Arnold. I traveled across the country with Arnold in the 1980s. Arnold and Joyce were good Aroostook county people. I will never forget my memories with Arnold and Joyce. May they both rest in peace.
Laura Rand
Nov 14, 2018
Please accept my condolences for Arnold's passing. Having worked with Arnold during his tenure with the US Department of Agriculture, I found him to be a generous, kind, and thoughtful person. He was guided by experience and an inner compass which made him successful as Director. I will be forever grateful to Arnold for his guidance in setting a path for my husband, Parker, and me that allowed us to be successful in our careers. Godspeed, Arnold.
Brad Hansen
Nov 09, 2018
I had the pleasure of working under Arnold during his tenure with Farm Service Agency. His top priority was helping the state's farmers.

He always treated me well, and saw something in me and helped me advance in the agency. For that I will always be grateful.
Galen and Anne LaBree
Nov 08, 2018
The obituary tells of a fine, caring life and so many contributions to our world, especially his amazing children and grandchildren who continue his example and legacy. Peace be with you all....
Deanna Gerow
Nov 08, 2018
Sorry for your loss--he was a great person-will be missed by many-hugs-love to all
Sharlene Gagnon
Nov 07, 2018
Sharlene Gagnon
Nov 07, 2018
To my Dear Friend Rosemary Thatch, my Sympathy An Love An Hugs go out too you at this time. You were so good to Arnold an Blessed him so much innkast stage of his life. You, me, Vinal his best friend shared so much together. Love you! 🙏🙏❤️❤️😂😂
Tony & Becky(Locke) Reynolds
Nov 06, 2018
Diane, Susie, and Elizabeth, Your Mom and Dad were two of my favorite people. We had lots of great memories mostly in the potato fields and your camp. And they were so wonderful to my parents. Our condolences to you all. Hold all those memories close to your heart ♥️
Karen Karinja
Nov 06, 2018
Such a lovely man and true gentleman.
Mimi Stewart-Branach
Nov 06, 2018
Arnold Roach was one of the best people that I have ever encountered. He and your mother
were the backbone of the town of Smyrna Mills. Diane, Susie, and Elizabeth, please know that many of us will remember your family fondly. May all your good memories be of great comfort to you at this time.
George & Lynda Schools
Nov 05, 2018
Arnold was a great man and he will be missed. I thank him for his service. May he rest in peace.
Steve Roach
Nov 05, 2018
Arnold was a warm and welcoming first cousin to me and my sisters and brother. Our parents loved him (and his three daughters). He and Joyce made us fell like their home was ours as well. We will miss his gift of gab and even just his being on earth.
Cathy Briggs
Nov 05, 2018
Diane, Susie, Elizabeth and Families
I am very sorry to hear about your Dad and Grandfather, I have some very fond childhood memories of Arnold and Joyce when I use to hang around the Roach house. I will never forget how he used to tease me and call me Chatty Cathy ( can you imagine that)
Love to all
Cathy Briggs
Kevin & Kristi Brannen
Nov 05, 2018
Sending our deepest condolences to Arnold’s family. Arnold was a great man and gave so much to this area
Candy McKee Ginson
Nov 05, 2018
Sorry for ur loss. Just remember he my be gone from this world but he will forever live in ur hearts. He loved u guys so much. Again sorry for ur loss.
John McManamey
Nov 05, 2018
Diane, Susie, & Elizabeth,

I am truly sorry for the loss of your Dad. Not your father, but your Dad. The man you grew up with and who loved you with all his heart. The person that raised three wonderful daughters alongside your mother.

All I can hope is that you focus on one moment in time, which will be different for each of you, where the humor came out. A time you, your Dad, and maybe your Mom just laughed at the absolute silliness of something in a moment. Humor tends to help take a little of the weight off a heavy heart.

I hope it helps, even if it does just a little bit.
diana rockwell
Nov 05, 2018
diane susie elizabeth and family i am so sorry for your loss your dad was a great man he always had a speical place in my heart never will i ever forget him you girls alway hold his memories close to your hearts he will alway be there hugs love ya's
Tabitha King
Nov 05, 2018
Susie, Elizabeth, Sadie, Andrew: I am very sad for your loss. He was a very good man and fathered and grand-fathered very fine people.
Duane Aldrich
Nov 05, 2018
So sorry for your loss! May you all find comfort in all the wonderful memories.
F. Louis
Nov 05, 2018
I want to express my condolences to your family and friends over the loss of your love one. In times like this a comforting word is welcomed. May you receive strength and comfort from the God who promise to “swallow up death forever” and give us a hope of a “resurrection”. - Isaiah 25:8; Acts 24:15. JW.orgF
William Barriner
Nov 05, 2018
Colonel Roach was a Captain and my commanding officer when i joined the Guard in 1964 before graduation he was the best may he rest in peace MAY GOD BLESS HIS Fmily.
Matt Weed
Nov 05, 2018
Suzanne--Looking at your dad's picture, I see some father-daughter resemblance. Looks and sounds like a great guy. I had no idea that your tendencies toward "democratic" ran so deeply and in the family. I'm sorry for your loss. I believe you'll see him again.

Joyce and Bob Shaw
Nov 05, 2018
So sad to hear of Arnie's passing. we shared so many fun times with him and Rosemary, his beloved wife, in Florida. They were a great couple and we will miss him terribly when we travel to Florida.
Keith and Barbara Forbes
Nov 05, 2018
Diane and Mike
Barb and I extend our condolences and sympathy for the loss of your Dad
Our thoughts and prayers are being offered today in remembrance of his life. Peace be with you two during this difficult time.
Terry Lohrman
Nov 05, 2018
Arnold was a neighbor and friend here in Florida. We always enjoyed having him at our fish fries.. RIP our friend