Irene Roach

Obituary of Irene Jane Roach

Irene Jane Roach, 79, of the Township of Ocean, was taken back by her Lord on Friday, April 22, 2022, at home with her husband, and later joined by her children, at her bedside.

Irene was born at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, N. J. on August 12, 1942. She was raised by her loving mother and father in Fairview. As a child and teenager, she excelled academically, won medical writing contests, and trained in classical dancing.

She met her husband in 1962 at the Jersey City State College social; they married on June 5, 1965 at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, and raised their family in Jersey City until 1969, after which they moved to their new home in Howell Township until 2003, when she and her husband settled in the Township of Ocean.

She had a formal Catholic education. She graduated from Holy Rosary Academy in Union City in 1960. She move forward, studying Nursing at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, graduating in 1963. In her late 40s, she returned to college to study Psychology, and earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree from Georgian Court College in Lakewood in 1990. In her late 60s, she studied toward her Master’s Degree and further certifications, at Stockton College in Pomona.

Irene worked as a Registered Nurse for 52 years. She focused on pediatric care, including special-needs children. Some of the notable work positions she held were:
Owens-Illinois Glass Company in North Bergen, where she saved her boss’s life; Lakewood Nursing Home Facility; Dr. Lopez, pediatric physician in Freehold; Monmouth Medical Center ICU and Triage, in Long Branch; private nurse for Mordecai “Morty” Solomon in Lakewood; substitute nurse, unpaid volunteer at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft; volunteer nurse at Red Bank High School; Jersey Shore Medical Center ICU—caring for 30 patients at a time—in Neptune Township; Georgian Court College in Lakewood; Arthur Brisbane Child Treatment Center in Wall Township; Rider University in Lawrenceville; St. Veronica’s Roman Catholic School Nurse in Howell Township for 17 years—1986 - 2003.

After moving to the Township of Ocean, she started working at the Pediatric Day Health Center in Galloway, and also attended state nursing meetings in Tinton Falls. Her final position as a Nurse was at the  Pediatric Daycare Center in Trenton, where instead of retiring, she chose to drive across the state each morning to work with very sick special-needs children.

Irene enjoyed selecting a  theme for each holiday and decorated the home with art. In her 60s, she was a watercolor artist, and produced true works of art in her short period as a student, culminating with an art show in Long Beach Island. She loved gardening and planting flowers. Irene created an atmosphere of joy and love with her family, and celebrated life with the most brilliant of color. She made the days bright with a playful air, bringing song, dancing, and smiles to everyone in the home.

Irene was a student of tradition and her foundation was her Roman Catholic faith, having followed Christian values in her relationships and encounters with everyone she met. She studied Theology, and took very seriously the teachings of the Bible. She came from an Irish-Catholic family—one of eleven children—where each child was given a vocation in their life.

Irene always had a vested interest in all of her children’s well-being and direction in their lives, including the countless children she loved as a Nurse.

Irene was predeceased by her parents, Peter and Martha O’Brien II; her brother Reverend Father Peter “Georgie” O’Brien, S. J.; her two nephews, Andrew Pigoncelli and James O’Brien Jr.  She is survived by her husband, Gerard Roach Sr.; her children, Gerard Roach Jr., Kathleen Giblin and her husband, Sean, Megan Roach, and Thomas Joel Roach; grandchildren, Sean and Makenna Giblin; and her nine siblings.

A visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Friday, April 29, 2022 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM.  Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the funeral home on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 11:00 AM for the procession to her 12:00 PM Funeral Mass at the Church of St. Veronica, 4215 Route 9 North, Howell, NJ.  Interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington, NJ at the convenience of the family or a date and time to be announced. For those who desire memorial contributions may be made to Mary's Place by the Sea.  For information, direction or condolence messages to the family, visit



5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, April 29, 2022
Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home
100 Elton-Adelphia Road
Freehold Township, New Jersey, United States


12:00 pm
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Church Of St. Veronica
4215 Highway 9 North
Howell, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

Holy Cross Cemetery
340 Ridge Road
North Arlington, New Jersey, United States
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