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Roland A. LaRoche

Roland A. LaRoche
  • December 21, 1924 - December 4, 2009
  • New London, New Hampshire

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Roland A. LaRoche Former Peterborough resident was builder/developer, musician, and artist NEW LONDON — Roland A. LaRoche, 84, of New London, NH, died of cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) on December 4, 2009, at Summerhill, in Peterborough, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Cambridge, MA, on December 21, 1924, he was the son of J. Arthur and Juliette (Lajeunesse) LaRoche. He graduated as class valedictorian from Rindge Technical School in Cambridge, MA. At an early age, he began piano lessons with organist and harpsichordist Claude Chiasson. As a teenager, he auditioned for Wilfrid Pelletier and won a scholarship to study with the renowned piano teacher Isidor Philipp at the Montreal Conservatory and in New York City. He later studied with Boris Goldovsky at the Longy School of Music. During WWII, he worked in the drafting department at MIT Radiation Laboratory (Rad Lab), where he was personally chosen by Professor Norbert Wiener, a world-renowned mathematician and founder of the science of cybernetics, to do all of Professor Wiener's drawings and charts. It was here that he met his future wife, Barbara. He and Barbara married on October 4, 1947, and moved to Sharon, then settled in Peterborough, where they raised their three children. With his brother Charles, he built a thriving business developing homes and commercial buildings, and was recently honored by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce as a "Legend of Business." After living for many years in Peterborough, he and his wife moved to Sunapee, and then to New London, where they have resided for the past 12 years. In retirement, he enjoyed playing and composing for the piano, and painting in watercolors. Always modest, he was loved and respected for his honesty, many talents, caring, courtesy, love and concern for family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara A. (Hall) LaRoche, of New London and Peterborough; his daughter, Catherine A. LaRoche, and her husband, Michael C. Wakefield, of Peterborough; two daughters-in-law, MJ LaRoche, of Walnut Creek, CA, and Wendy Starkweather LaRoche, of Peterborough; three grandchildren, Adora LaRoche, of Northampton, MA, Tobey LaRoche, of Peterborough, and Shannah LaRoche, of Walnut Creek, CA; two stepgrandchildren, Travis Wakefield, of Henderson, NV, and Tucker Wakefield, of Heppenheim, Germany; two brothers, Gerard LaRoche, of Cheverly, MD, and Charles LaRoche, of Peterborough, NH and Estero, FL; three sisters, Sr. Pauline LaRoche and Sr. Claire LaRoche, of Lawrence, MA, and Madeleine Musetti, of Louisville, CO; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his two sons, John LaRoche (1999) and Ken LaRoche (2006), and his brothers, Raymond LaRoche (1998), and Paul LaRoche (2008). Friends and family are invited to gather for a celebration of his life on Monday, December 21, at 1:00 p.m. at Reynolds Hall, 52 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his memory to Hospice at HCS, PO Box 564, Keene, NH 03431; Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice, PO Box 2209, New London, NH 03257; New London Hospital, 273 County Road, New London, NH 03257; Norris Cotton Cancer Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756; or to a charity of your choice. The Cremation Society of New Hampshire is assisting with arrangements.