Fordham University mourns the passing of John F. Roche, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history, who died on June 21.

Roche arrived at Fordham’s Woolworth Building as a freshman in 1942 and, after service in World War II, graduated in 1948 from the Undergraduate School of Education, which had moved to 302 Broadway.

He began teaching at Fordham in February 1951. Although he retired in 1995, he continued to teach part-time at Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC), the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and College at 60.

He was lauded in a retirement ceremony in May 2010, where Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC, took the occasion to go back through Roche’s personnel file and read a citation that had been written by Anne Mannion, Ph.D., associate professor of history, on the occasion of Roche’s first Bene Merenti award for 20 years of teaching.

Father Grimes concluded by saying, “John, for all you have given to Fordham over the years, mere words are not enough, but they are the best we have. Thank you to one of Fordham’s greatest alumni, one of Fordham’s greatest teachers, one of Fordham’s greatest. Period.”

At the 2010 ceremony, Roche said he relished being able to see the University grow and change as it added campuses in Manhattan, and integrated women into its student body.

“In terms of the overall history of the institution, one would be hard-pressed to find another period in which so many significant changes and elements of growth have occurred,” he said.

“I’ve had a happy time at Fordham. There have been a few rough passages, of course, over so many years. But all in all, thanks in a great part to my association with you, it’s been a very good experience, indeed.”

A wake will be held Wednesday, June 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at McLaughlin & Sons, 9620 Third Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, June 28, at 9:30 a.m. at Saint Ephrem Church, 929 Bay Ridge Parkway, Brooklyn. NY.