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Gretchen Christine Thomas Roach
Born April 14, 1934 in Breedtown, she was a daughter of the late Forest L. Thomas and Lena Fleischman Thomas.
She graduated from Oil City High School in 1953 and went to work at Bell Telephone Company until she married.
On August 28, 1954, she married the love of her life, Wayne S. Roach at Good Hope Lutheran Church by Dr. Edward Kuhlman. She then became a wonderful homemaker and mother to her two daughters.
Her church was a significant part of her life as well as her church family. She was involved in many aspects of the church over the years; headed the Altar Guild, served as secretary of the Woman’s Board, assisted on the Bereavement Committee, and chaired the yearly rummage sale. She also helped with the outreach dinners at Zion Church. She was a member of the Hope Circle and cherished her relationship with each member.
Gretchen enjoyed playing softball with her sister Gloria in her younger years, retiring to become an avid golfer. She loved playing in her golf leagues at Cross Creek and River Ridge and the wonderful friendships she made. She and her sisters were quite the golfers in their day and enjoyed golfing in various tournaments throughout the years. She cherished spending time with her family and their yearly trips to Chautauqua Lake. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and she made it special for all of them. She and Wayne enjoyed many winters snowbirding in Bradenton, FL. Her love for her Lord, her family, and friends radiated with her smiles and her hugs.
Gretchen and Wayne would have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in August.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her two daughters, Karen J. Chrispen and her husband Rex, Kelley L. McHenry and her husband Barry; five grandsons, Danny Gutowski and his wife Ashley, Bobby Chrispen, David McClellan, and Jacob Serafin all of Oil City, and Matthew McClellan and his wife Sara of Raleigh, NC; four great-grandchildren, Trevor and Gracie Gutowski, Alayna and Carter Chrispen.
Also surviving are two special sisters, Gloria Aughenbaugh of Oil City and Nancy Thomas-Lake of Buffalo, NY; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers, Robert, LeRoy, Forest, and Merritt Thomas; a sister, Earldeen Gulla; two nieces, Kimberly Kurtich and Cathy Goodman; two brother’s-in-law, Charles “Butch” Aughenbaugh and Michael Gulla; and her godson, Lance Graham
Special thanks to Aseracare Hospice staff for their wonderful care in the past few weeks.
Viewing will be held Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Morrison Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 11 a.m. in the First Church of God in Oil City with the Rev. J. Michael Parsh and the Rev. Sandra Jones, pastors of Good Hope Lutheran Church officiating. Interment will be in Shaw Farm Cemetery.
Memorials if desired may be made to Good Hope Lutheran Church, the First Church of God in Oil City, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or a charity of one’s choice.
To leave the family a special message, obtain directions, or view other helpful services, please visit www.morrisonhome.com.
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