Marie Alice Roach

May 3rd, 1927January 2nd, 2021

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 1927 Marie Alice Hardisty entered this world as the sixth of eight children born to Solomon Lee and Elizabeth Kaziah Hardisty. The family (James, Velma, Ernest, Harold, Paul, Marie, Henry, and Betty, in birth order) grew up in rural Adams County, Iowa where the family owned a small farm.

Several events shaped Marie's early years. She was a toddler when the stock market crashed in 1929 leading to the Great Depression. When she was a teen, the United States entered World War II. Growing up on a farm in hard times with seven brothers and sisters taught Marie frugality and self-reliance. For all of her life she grew and preserved food, sewed clothes and quilts for herself and her sons, and made tons of handicrafts.

Here are some of her childhood memories. "Mother made all our dresses. I never had a boughten dress until I was 18. Mother also made all our bread. We always liked to eat the crust from the outside of the bread as soon as it came out of the oven. The inside of the bread we would slice and toast in the oven then soak in hot milk and put on butter or cream and sugar for breakfast. Mother always planted a big garden and raised all kinds of flowers. She loved to share them with others and canned all the vegetables she could so we never had to buy any. We always raised enough potatoes to last from one year to the next. We kept them in a cave near the house or in the cellar."

Her niece, Arlene Cox Kuehnle, writes "Both my mother [Velma] and Aunt Marie taught Sunday school in their churches. Aunt Marie's students were the lucky ones. Aunt Marie made life-size Muppet type puppets for her lessons. When her students had a birthday she would ask the student what type of cake they wanted. Whatever they chose, Aunt Marie would make.

"Aunt Marie loved crafts. She made quilts, cakes, jewelry, dolls, and decorations. She could make almost anything. She gave my mother a beautiful miniature Christmas tree that she had made from green ribbon. It's something that my mom and I will keep forever.

"One of the things Marie made was necklaces from beads strung on wire and wrapped in a spiral. She even made a tool to form these spirals. My mom made many necklaces using Aunt Marie's technique. I think this may have inspired my mom to make other things out of beads.

"Last time I talked to Aunt Marie on Skype she showed me a quilt she was making for Gene and a very unique blouse that she was working on."

Following WWII, Marie met Clifford Leroy Roach, who had served in the US Army in the Aleutian Islands. They married in Corning, IA on June 21, 1947. They were faithfully dedicated to each other for over 45 years until Cliff died suddenly January 22, 1992.

Four sons were born to Cliff and Marie: twins Gene Lee and Dean Leroy (1949), Clifford Allen (1952), and Gary Lynn (1956). Dean Leroy was born with a congenital defect and lived only two months.

In the early years of their marriage they lived on small acreage farms near Corning. There was always a garden and sometimes a milk cow and a few chickens. Cliff was never a farmer. He always worked in Corning. In the early 1960's they moved to Corning. Cliff and Marie built their own home, with their own hands, on Adams Street in Corning. In 1966 they and their three sons moved to Boulder, CO for health reasons. They lived in the Table Mesa area for about a year until they were able to buy a home in East Boulder, where Marie lived until the day she passed.

The cost of living was high in Boulder than in rural Iowa, and the boys were teen and preteen. Marie began working outside the home to help make ends meet. Having only an 8th grade education limited her job opportunities so she attended night classes, tested, and earned a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). That wasn't the last of her learning and testing. In her 80's she was involved in a minor car accident and had to take the drivers exam and driving test again. By the way, she drove another 10 years then voluntarily hung up the car keys.

Marie was a faithful Christian who brought her family to church every Sunday and did her best to lead them to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. For decades she taught preschool age Sunday School, until she was 90. In Boulder she faithfully attended South Boulder Bible Churc (originally Berean Baptist Church0 when she could drive, when she couldn't drive, and through Zoom services.

Marie left this world 93 years old to be with her Savior and God on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 and will be buried beside her beloved husband, Cliff at Mountain View Cemetery in Boulder. She leaves behind sisters Velma Cox (100) in Manitowoc, WI, and Betty Travis (90) in Creston, IA. In the Denver Metro area she leaves son Gene; son Gary (married Vivien); and granddaughter Krista. In Portland, OR son Clifford (married Crystal); and granddaughter Michelle (married Jody); and great grandson Jonas.

Those of us who are here celebrate a life well lived.


A private graveside service will be held for Marie at Mountain View Memorial Park in Boulder on Friday, January 8th.


Mountain View Memorial Park






Marie always raised beautiful house plants and shared them willingly. I bought a puppet she had made. It was a monkey puppet that would wrap around your neck. When carpooling to Denver I would wrap it around me on my lap and wave out the car windows at the car next to us. Got quit a reaction from the car in the next lane, a wonder we didn't cause a lot of accidents but we were careful if the traffic was heavy. I will miss Marie.