With love and admiration for a life well-lived, the family of Donald Henry Roth announces his passing on April 27, 2017 at the age of 78. Born on August 26, 1938 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Don was the only child of William and Alice Roth. Don obtained a BA in Political Science, and a MBA at Mississippi State University, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the ROTC. Don then earned a JD from the University of Mississippi. Don served two years in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany while serving in Army Intelligence where he reached the rank of Captain. Despite varied interests and studies, Don remained devout in his faith and as a result, he entered Conception Seminary after his military service.
While in the seminary, Don found his true calling, when he observed a high school religion class at Loretta Academy in Kansas City, MO, taught by Ms. Kathleen Lucas. Not long after, Don left the seminary, married Kathleen and settled in Kansas City. He retired as Chief of the Financial Management Section, Kansas City Region, of the Social Security Administration, where he worked for 30 years. Don and Kathleen had two children, Matthew and Megan Roth.
Don enjoyed participating in his children’s lives – as Assistant Coach, on Scout camping trips, cheering soccer teams, and attending theatrical productions. He enjoyed warm weather and being outside and Don loved to run. He ran everyday – often running down Ward Parkway or the Brookside Trail. He loved training for marathons, and ran the Boston Marathon twice. He ran everyday, including while on vacations in nearly every state and abroad, including while in Europe and Canada . . . too many states and countries to remember. Of course, he ran the KC Marathon every year when healthy, and continued to run until his disease took that ability away from him.
Don was an active member of MARA – Mid-America Running Association and KCTC – Kansas City Track Club.
For 26 years, Don fostered and supported religious vocations through his membership in the Serra Club of Kansas City in Kansas, during which he served as Vice-President, Secretary and member of the Board of Directors. Don was also a member of SENCOM, a fifty-plus group who taught older adults how to use computers. (If only he had succeeded in teaching his wife.)
Growing-up in the South instilled in Don a love for history – a love which brought him and his family to numerous battlefield parks throughout the country. But Don’s most consuming hobby was reading, especially historical fiction and civil war era novels.
Don is survived by Kathleen, his wife of 47 years; his son Matthew and Matt’s wife Terri Hilton; his daughter Megan; and three generations of nieces, nephews and cousins. In his last year and half, Don was able to meet and hold his only grandchild, Madelyn Marie Roth.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 11 am at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Visitation will take place prior to the service from 10 am to 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Don’s memory to support Frontotemporal Degeneration research at the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Checks should be made payable to KU Endowment – Alzheimer’s/FTD Research, and should be mailed to KU Endowment, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., MS 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160. Online donations may be made at http://www.kualzheimer.org.