Roach, Mary

Mary Belle Wallace Roach

March 25th, 1916 – June 11, 2020

Mary Belle Wallace Roach, age 104, passed away on June 11th at the home of her daughter in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a resident of Symsonia, Kentucky, where she was born and lived most of her life. Mary was a graduate of Symsonia High School, and, along with her twin sister, Mae Belle, she earned a degree in Education from Murray State University in 1938. Known in West Kentucky as The Wallace Twins, Mary and Mae Belle were the first two women to graduate from college in their family, and they were both teachers at Symsonia School for 42 years. Mary taught English and Social Studies, was a life-long Democrat, and avidly followed the NBA.

Mary was preceded in death by her twin sister, Mae Belle, as well as her husband, Wallace Gibson Roach, her sister, Virginia Wallace, her brother, James William Wallace, and her nephew, Dr. James Wallace Powell, as well as her parents, Earnest and Grace Edwards Wallace. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy McGuire Roche, son-in-law Sawnie R. Aldredge, and granddaughter, Anjelika Kate Aldredge of Nashville, Tennessee, and by her nephew David M. Powell, and his wife, Amy Rose, of San Jose, California.

Mary was a life-long and dedicated member of the Symsonia Methodist Church, which was founded by her great-grandmother, Martha Edwards. As a beloved schoolteacher and Sunday School teacher, she taught hundreds of residents of Symsonia and the surrounding area to be informed, kind, and responsible citizens. Her family, friends, church family, and colleagues found her to be full of life, funny, and generous. She was famous for her recollections, and for her knowledge of Symsonia history. She grew up in Paducah, Kentucky, and was the oldest living patron of the Columbia Theater, the oldest member of the Community Federal Savings Bank of Benton, and a member of the Symsonia Chapter of the Eastern Star.

During World War II, Mary, along with many family members and friends, moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, she built carburetors for use in the war. She was especially fond of the city’s diversity, music, and culture. Mary and Mae Belle married best friends, Wallace Roach and Loman Powell, and returned to Symsonia, where she lived for the rest of her life. After the death of their husbands, the two sisters lived together and traveled the world as far as Tahiti, Europe, and the Caribbean. Mary was a true individual who lived her religious beliefs of faith, compassion, and giving, and she was widely known for her stories and wit. “Miss” Mary was dearly loved by all, and she will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.

Due to concerns regarding Covid-19, Ms. Roach will be buried in a private ceremony at the Symsonia Cemetery. A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held in the Rainbow Center of The Symsonia Methodist Church at a later date, with all welcome to attend. Donations to the Symsonia Methodist Church or The Columbia Theater Restoration Project at http://savethecolumbia.org may be made in lieu of flowers


Published 12:00 AM, Thursday Jun. 11, 2020
Updated 05:40 PM, Thursday Jun. 11, 2020

Collier Funeral Home

Collier Funeral Home
211 West 5th Street
Benton, KY 42025


Phone:(270) 527-3141
Email: info@collierfuneralhome.com
Website: http://www.collierfuneralhome.com/

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