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Robert Roy Roth
October 4, 1949 ~ May 1, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Robert Roy “Bob” Roth, son of Roy Roth and Pauline Rosnick Roth, was born October 4, 1949, in McKeesport, PA. After graduating from McKeesport High School in 1967, Bob received his B.A. in English from West Virginia Wesleyan in 1971 and his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, in 1972. In 1981, he met Bonny Stalnaker at First United Methodist Church (First Church), where they married in 1984. They adopted three children—Em, Kevin, and Sarah—each as an infant in 1987, 1989, and 1993, respectively. Their son Dujon Smith joined the family in 2010.
Following graduate school Bob headed to Evanston, IL in 1972, after landing his first and only job at Evanston Township High School. He was a beloved English teacher who participated in the Teacher's Council (National Education Association) and served on its Executive Council and as president. In 1983 when ETHS celebrated its 100th anniversary, Bob served as chairman of the Evanston 4th of July Parade. Bob also helped establish and served as advisor of the ETHS National Honor Society and as advisor to The Key, the ETHS yearbook. In 1987-88, he was awarded a sabbatical in recognition of outstanding service and was named an Outstanding Teacher in 2012. Bob looked forward to performing in ETHS faculty-student plays. He always loved to be center stage!
Bob especially loved teaching. He cared deeply for his students and the greater ETHS community. He was known widely as the King of Grammar, and many can attest to this well-earned title. The day before his final day of teaching, Bob was hit by a car while walking in downtown Evanston. He was bruised and suffered a few broken ribs, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him from teaching. At the time, a student was quoted in The Evanstonian saying, “He had a very natural way of getting students to share their opinions, and a sense of humor that always generated some of the best discussions that I’ve had at ETHS.” Many colleagues have shared about Bob’s wit, intellect, care, and thoughtfulness. Bob impacted thousands of students over his 40 years at ETHS and stayed committed through the very last bell.
Bob was also fiercely dedicated to his children. He was an incredible supporter at sporting events (rain or shine), performances, graduations, recitals, and more. He was a kind and empathetic father, who met his children with love and understanding through life’s biggest ups and downs. Bob shared a love for music and musicals with his kids, and many have experienced a passionate and off-key impromptu Bob Roth performance. His spirit was just about as rich as his famous triple chocolate cake that has been shared at many family and community gatherings throughout the years.
As faithful member of First Church since 1972, Bob served on program and administrative committees and participated in fellowship groups and represented First Church on the board of University Christian Ministries, Northwestern University.
Bob got a bit restless during retirement, so he got a part-time job at Northwestern’s campus bookstore and served as a volunteer and board member/president for Meals on Wheels (formerly Meals at Home).
On Monday, May 1, 2023, Bob peacefully passed on from this life. He was surrounded by his children in his home in Evanston. He is survived by Bonny, his children, Em (Amy) Wilder, Kevin Roth, Sarah Roth and Dujon Smith. His brother Brian (Sheryl) and sister Linda Roth Walters. Nephews Jonathan and Jordan Roth. Four grandchildren: Mowgli and Hollis Roth and Lake and Remi Wilder.
A celebration of life will be held at First United Methodist Church of Evanston (516 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201) on Saturday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church, Evanston (faithatfirst.org/get-involved/make-a-gift/), and Meals on Wheels of Northeastern Illinois (mealsonwheelsnei.org).
Arrangements entrusted to Evanston Funeral & Cremation, Roland F. Weis director. Info 847 866-8843, condolence and guestbook at evanstonfuneral.com