Joseph H. DesRoches, age 87, of Warwick, passed away on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence. He was the husband of Norma (Stevens) DesRoches; they were married for 55 years.
Born in Fall River, Mass., the son of the late Henry C. and Florence (Leighton) DesRoches, he lived in Warwick for most of his life. He was a graduate of Aldrich High School in Warwick and a 1958 graduate of Brown University. A First Lieutenant with the Army in the Korean War, he was a recipient of a Bronze Star medal. Mr. DesRoches was employed with the RI Department of Labor & Training for 43 years and retired in 2008 as Chief of Employment Services. An active member of the Rotary Club of Warwick since 1977, Joe was a past president, past Rotarian of the Year and a Paul Harris Fellow. As a gifted master of ceremonies, Joe often took the podium at community events, but it was his role at Rotary Club meetings where he ran “happy bucks” that won’t be forgotten. Club members pay “happy bucks” to share news with club members, and Joe’s embellishing commentary always brought a laugh. He often ended the session with a contribution in the name of his beloved Red Sox and asking for the total collect. He never failed to say, “Now, that’s a good number.” He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick.
In addition to his wife he is survived by his son-in-law, Benjamin R. Standridge and his partner, Amy Gravell, and several nieces. He was the father of the late Jacqueline L. DesRoches and brother of the late Jeannine Whitehead.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 4-7 p.m. in Barrett and Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick. A private burial with military honors will be in Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick, 42 Frederick Street, Warwick, RI 02888. Visit www.barrettandcotter.com