By Bill Zachary, with input from Marlys Seeman
Sometimes, your path in life is inexplicably intertwined with that of another person. When I moved to Seattle in 1989, I sought out the United Church of Christ in Magnolia as my church and the foundation of my community. One of the parishioners was Liz Roach. I joined the Magnolia Chorale as an outlet for my joy of singing, and among the singers were Liz and her daughter Laura Roach.
I had the good fortune of meeting and spending time with Liz’s indescribably wonderful family. That included her husband Tom, while in Family Camp; Laura, who sang like a nightingale for the Chorale; and Louisa, who gave my children their first haircuts. Getting to know such a caring and accomplished family, made me realize what a “force for good” was Liz Roach.
Over 33 years, Liz proved to be a constant friend and a source of sage advice about morality, parenting, and life. Side by side, we experienced the joy of singing together every Sunday night and the pleasure of making music come alive for the Magnolia community. She always took the time to ask about my family and her words provided a soothing calmness to me. We all have challenges in our day-to-day existence. Liz helped me greatly to see beyond those challenges and value joy and gratitude. I am and will be forever thankful for the friendship of Liz Roach.
On top of all this, Liz always impressed others as “whip smart” in church circles. As a King County librarian, she always had the name of a book on the tip of her tongue. In amazing fashion, she could always match an author with the title of a book.
Liz had a rare combination of loving grace, brutal but fair honesty, devotion to family and God, enlightening wisdom, and a positive outlook that inspired those who were lucky enough to know her. Everybody has their own special blend of goodness and kindness that serves as a gift to others around them, but nobody was better at sharing this gift than Liz Roach. Liz will be greatly missed, but—more importantly—never forgotten.
Magnolia Chorale is...
a community of singers who enjoy spending time together making great music.