In Memoriam -- Dora I. Roach (T-15)
I very much appreciate the effort and attention to
detail that went into preparing the Arkadaslar membership directory 2007
edition. As I was
looking through its pages, I read the list of deceased friends and noted
that one name was not there. Dora I. Roach. Without being morbid, I would
expect to see her listed, because 22-Feb-07 would have been her 105th
So, I checked out Dora’s name in the Social Security Death Index [http://ssdi.rootsweb.com].
Her date of death was 20-Jul-1991.
But why, after all these many years, would I still remember Dora Roach’s
birthday? Because she enjoyed telling people that her birth date was ”two,
twenty-two, oh two” (2‑22‑02). Its alliterative quality appealed to her love
Our half of T15 met Dora during training at Occidental College in the summer
of 1967. There weren’t many in our group over the age of 30; most us were
within a few years of college graduation. But then there was Dora aged 65.
Lively, witty, attractive, moving at her own pace, but never slow. A
physician’s widow with a daughter and grandchildren. An avid bridge player.
She was not content to spend her retirement at the card table.
Dora taught at the METU Hazarlik program where her grey hair got her a bit
more respect from the students and the “mudur bey.” I imagine that there are
many Dora stories tucked away in the memories of T-15s as well as others who
were in Ankara during 1967-1969.
Two of my Dora memories -- Whether it was kindness, good medical sense, or
respect for a medical colleague’s widow, Dora was the only PCV in Ankara who
got house calls from the PC doctor. -- Dora loved participating in the
community theater in her home town of Indianapolis. She landed a part in a
Turkish-American Association production. Just before the performance, she
broke her arm, falling on the uneven pavement in front of her apartment. But
the show did go on. With Dora in a cast and sling, wrapped in a scarf,
cheered on by PCVs and her METU student fans.
I have thought of Dora many times over the years. How fortunate we were to
have had such a model of robust aging. The “boomers” might think that they
will re-invent getting older, but Dora could say, “been there, done that.”
Dora returned to the States in 1969, did a stint as a PC recruiter, and
re‑upped with PC Ghana for two tours (1971-75). A classy dame.
P.S. You can see some photos of Dora Roach in
Dick Janzig's Photo Album (1967-69)
T-15 Ankara Hacettepe University
Thank you for your message. I have thought of Dora many times over the years
and wondered what she had done after we all left Turkey. We shared many
Freshman students our first year at METU. She was my most reliable companion
to the Ankara Opera, and her only complaint was that I walked too fast when
we walked from Kavaledere to Ulus and back.
Dick Janzig (T-15)