Martin F. Roach, M.D., 79, passed away on December 1, 2019, surrounded by his family, including his wife of 52 years, Catherine. For 42 years, he served the communities of Cedar Rapids and Manchester as an orthopedic surgeon. He was the proud father of Heather (Homi) of Jakarta, Indonesia; Shannon, of Los Angeles, CA; Jeffrey, of Cedar Rapids; and Maggie (James) of Evergreen, CO.
Martin was born to Mary and Walter Roach on September 19, 1940, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he grew up with his older brother Walter (Barbara) and younger sister Mary Lou (James). Marty attended Boston College High School in Boston and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.
He graduated from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago. Marty completed his medical internship at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. It was there he met his wife, Cathy, and he loved to tell the story of their first date. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery in the U.S. Navy at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. He studied children’s orthopedics at the James Lawrence Kernan Hospital in Baltimore. Marty served an additional two years in the U.S. Navy at the Charleston Naval Hospital in South Carolina during the Vietnam War. He completed his military service as a Lieutenant Commander.
In 1973, Marty joined the practice of Huey, Koch, and Strathman in Cedar Rapids. The practice merged with another to become Orthopedic Surgeons P.C., which in turn became Physicians Clinic of Iowa (PCI) in 1997. For 35 years, he was supported in his career by his nurse, Debbie Griffin; Marty and his family share a sincere appreciation for her loyal service. He was a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Iowa Orthopaedic Society, and Linn County Medical Society, as well as the Cedar Rapids Country Club (CRCC). A devout Catholic, Marty was a member of All Saints Parish and a Eucharistic Minister at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
A transplanted New England Irishman, Marty quickly grew to love Iowa, its welcoming people and its beautiful countryside. In fact, he enjoyed almost nothing more than drives in the country and walks to Brucemore. Marty’s love of exploration took him to six continents and spurred an avocation in astronomy. His spirit was marked by a sense of generosity, kindness, adventure, and humor.
An avid sailor, most summers Marty could be found sailing with family and friends on Lake Macbride. He also loved ice skating and to play ice hockey. He was a contributing founder of the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Reflecting his roots in Massachusetts and Iowa, he was a devoted fan of all the Boston sports teams as well as the Iowa Hawkeyes. Marty shared these passions with his five beloved grandchildren, Nick, Nate, Montana, Tori, and James, who called him Papa.
Marty was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law, John and Catherine; his brother, Walter; and his brothers-in-law, Rob and Frank.
In the words of one of Marty’s sons-in-law, “I strive to adopt his positive outlook and harness some of his incredible energy that made those around him feel so special and loved. I will always be reminded to appreciate nature, to stretch my back in the morning, to look at the stars, and to be thankful for the gift of life on a daily basis.”
Services were private. Memorial donations may be made to Care Initiatives Hospice, 3720 Queen Ct. SW, Ste. 9, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-4735, www.careinitiatives.org
; Green Square Meals, 605 2nd Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52041, www.greensquaremeals.org
; or the Alzheimer’s Association, 317 7th Ave. SE, Suite 402, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, https://act.alz.org/site/Donation