Thomas Jonathan Roach


Thomas Jonathan Roach passed away on December 13th, 2019 at the age of 32, accompanied by his family at Saratoga Hospital.

Tom grew up alongside his older brother in Jonesville, in a neighborhood surrounded by classmates who would grow to be lifelong friends. Tom had great memories playing with his brother, including neighborhood street-hockey matches, races through snowy woods on sleds pulled by ATVs, and a variety of imaginative games (one of which, “bear hunt”, featured a Nerf-equipped pair of hunters on the trail of an unarmed, sneaking, but still dangerous human/Grizzly hybrid). Tom was a goofy and expressive child, and had a love for animals which can be seen early-on in home movies featuring him as an expert trainer of the household dog (à la Steve Irwin).

Though Tom would face challenges in his later adolescence, the best qualities of his character never faded. Tom was the most wonderful kind of delinquent; the kind who would sneak beers to his younger brother, play Nirvana (and eventually the Beatles) at full blast on every, *every* car ride, and who would, on festive occasions, ignite weapons-grade fireworks in his quiet residential community. He never missed a family gathering or holiday, and deeply enjoyed family reunions in Maine where he had fond memories of visiting his grandparents’ home every New Years. Tom also had a great creative side, with a love of music and an incredible ability to learn songs on guitar or piano from only listening to them over the radio.

Tom worked for over twelve years at a local dog kennel. There he met some of his best and closest friends, the ranks of which included both his two-legged coworkers and the four-legged occupants. While there, Tom adopted two neglected, poorly behaved, out-of-control but, most importantly, unbelievably sweet dogs, Ally and Gunner. From what must have been a place of resonance, Tom saw the good, loving nature of these dogs beyond their outward behavior, and provided them with the love and support that no others would give.

Despite various hardships throughout his life, Tom always held dear his close friends and family. Much like the sheltered animals he cared for so much, Tom’s character consisted of a humble kindness, an uncompromising warmth, and an enduring, almost excessive faith in his family and friends. It is incredible that despite the trials he endured, Tom felt a complete sense of love for those close to him. Even after his passing, we hope to live up to the level of reciprocation that this kind of love deserves.

Tom is survived by his father Bud Roach, his mother Lee Sheldon, his brothers Philip Roach and Michael Sheldon, his sister-in-law Katie Roach, nephew Bennet Roach and niece Madeline Roach.

A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Friday, December 20 from 5pm to 8pm in the Adirondack Room at the Hilton Garden Inn, 30 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park.

Guest Book

Susan Tucci

Dave and I are so devastated by your loss. We will never forget "Uncle Tom" He had so many amazing qualities, as well as a heart of gold.

Kris Andre

I’m so sorry for your loss. I met Tom only very briefly but from what I’ve heard I wish that I could have known him better. He sounds like my kind of guy! I can’t imagine your loss and my thoughts are with you.

Sarah Moran

The world weeps at the loss of such a beautiful soul. I have so many beautiful fond memories and distinctive moments of my childhood marked by Tom's presence - from meeting him in the Gowana lunch room with Christine Quinn (and not being brave enough to talk to him!) to Tom riding his bike nearly 8 miles ONE WAY to come be with me on the 4th of July when I was too sick to get out of bed. Berry picking and making a pie and then FORGETTING to put the SUGAR in it! Finally getting my first Mr. Potatohead Doll! A scar I still have on my toe when he broke the glass to the back door by accident! The GIANT CARDBOARD SIGN he painted and put across the street from my house! Spending the summer swimming at either his dad's pool or Locust Lane. The first one to tell me about the World Trade Center on 9/11 and then going back to his house and watching the footage - trying to make sense of the hate and violence in our young lives. My first heartbreak and my heart breaks even more now at this loss. May God grant your family peace. With all my love

Tami McDonough

I would like to pass on my sincere Condolences to the family. I was fortunate enough to have met Tom who loved my crazy German Shepherd Kylie! He helped me tremendously with her! He was a very kind and compassionate person with the animals and will truly be missed! RIP Tom!