Dora I. Roach (T-15)

February 22, 1902- July 20,1991

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 birthday!

So, I checked out Dora’s name in the Social Security Death Index []. 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 of language.

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. — Martha Kasper-Keintz

Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Friends of Turkey