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Roach remembered as industry 'champion'

Stewart W. Roach, founder of Massachusetts-based Norwood Marine and a fixture in the recreational marine industry, died April 10. He was 88.

"He will be remembered as a legend among the Massachusetts recreational marine trades, a true pioneer and a champion of the industry," the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association said in a statement.

In the 1930s, pursuing his passion for competitive hydroplane racing and an aptitude for marine mechanics, Roach graduated from Boston's Wentworth Institute of Technology, instructed the military in marine engine troubleshooting during World War II and went on to found the yacht dealership Norwood Marine.

During the next 50 years, the business expanded and relocated to the Boston waterfront, becoming one of the nation's leading boat dealers and full service boatyards. Roach also was very active in the MMTA.

After retiring in 1997 to his summer home in Osterville, Mass., Roach and his late wife, Katheryne Noonan Roach, remained active and devoted to family, friends, and the joys of boating, according to the MMTA.

Roach is survived by his sister, Antrinette Roach of Bethel, Conn.; his daughter, Leona Roach of Pembroke, Mass.; and his son, Stewart J. Roach, of Boston along with in-laws, nieces, nephews and their children.

Both of Roach's children remain active in the recreational marine industry. Leona Roach, former executive director of MMTA, now runs Marine Consulting Services in Pembroke. Stewart J. Roach operates Norwood Yacht Sales out of Boston.

Guestbook and arrangements are being made by Chapman, Cole & Gleason of Milton at www.ccgfuneralhome.com. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Underdog ResQ, The Scruffy Fund, P.O. Box 35096 Boston, MA 02135 or online at www.underdogresq.org.

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