Shirley Roach, former Tribune publisher, dies at 94 in Iowa

Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Shirley Roach, former Tribune publisher, dies at 94 in Iowa


Shirley Menage Roach died in her hometown of Rock Rapids, Iowa, on Nov. 17, at the age of 94. From 1974 to 1990 Shirley and her husband, Fred Roach, published the Terry Tribune. As the local news reporter, Shirley became acquainted with nearly everyone in Prairie County.

Shirley was born in Rock Rapids in 1928, the daughter of Pete and Vivien Menage. In kindergarten she and some of her classmates formed a club called the Snipper Snappers, and they remained good friends through the rest of their lives. Shirley attended Morningside College and the University of Iowa, and in 1950 she married Fred Roach, also of Rock Rapids. They were married for 68 years, until his death in 2018. Shirley and Fred began dating when they were working at their hometown newspaper, and they spent much of their life together running weekly newspapers in Northwest Iowa and in Terry, Montana. The couple returned to Rock Rapids from Montana in 1990 to care for Shirley’s elderly parents.

Fred and Shirley had four children: Eric Roach of Spearfish, South Dakota; Gretchen (Freeman) Millhollon of San Bernardino, California; Amy Roach of Livingston, Montana; and Carol (Jef) Faulkner of Bristol, Rhode Island. They had eight grandchildren: Kathy, James, Adam, Roman, Charlie, Bobby, Thomas, and James.

Shirley is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Elmer and Karen Menage; two nieces, Liz Stubbe and Kris Kuechenmeister; two nephews, John Rhode and Tom Menage. She is predeceased by a sister, Jeanne Menage Rhode, and a nephew, Jeff Menage.

Shirley was one of a kind. Amy and Carol called her “Squirrelly” because of her singular sense of humor. She could talk to anybody, she read all the time, and she was a wonderful writer. She loved baking, doing crafts, and watching old movies. Her kids imagine her in Heaven entertaining two suitors: Fred Roach and her film idol, Cary Grant.