John Joseph Roth

John J. Roth, age 72, of Oxford, Michigan passed away December 20, 2021, with his family at his side. He was born Donauschwaben in a Zaječar, Yugoslavia Prisoner Work Camp on April 21, 1949. John immigrated at the age of six as a “Displaced Persons” to Detroit, Michigan with his parents Peter and Anna Roth and his sister Hilda Coleman.

John is survived by his wife Kathleen Paonessa Roth of 50 years, his daughters Katrina Oliver (Brian Oliver) and Anna Kristine Moceri (Francesco Moceri), his sister Hilda Coleman and her family, his three grandchildren and a multitude of wonderful family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Peter and Anna Roth, and brother-in-law Roscoe Coleman.

Those that knew John will tell you he was truly one of a kind! A teacher of 35 years and selected as the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher by the Michigan Council for Social Studies. He wanted to relieve world suffering by educating his students about personal growth. If asked what subjects he taught, his response was LIFE. He wanted his students to learn about themselves and make a difference in the world. As an activist, John’s passion was always to help ease the suffering of the world through service work. This included building a well in a developing country, raising thousands of dollars to remove landmines, supporting children through UNICEF, and committing to a vegan way of life. John lived in a constant endeavor of making the planet a better place.

In his retirement John found joy in riding the roads of Northern Michigan and Appalachia on his Harley motorcycle for many years. In 2015 he began an exploration of woodworking that led him to becoming a master woodworker in just a few short years.

His work and children carry his love into the world upon his passing.

A celebration of life date will be determined and announced by his family. In lieu of flowers please support the work John was so passionate about by making a donation in his name to either Farmers Footprint: A path to soil health and food indepence or UNICEF: Helping save children’s lives

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Condolence Messages

  1. Renee Miron-Alimpich

    When a person comes into your life because of shared interests, magic happens. Friendship happens. Love happens. John Roth and his family became that and more for our family. John is forever in our hearts for being in our life. Our love and friendship always. Ron, Renée, Albert and Aaron.

  2. Rest In Peace John J. Roth. You’re legacy lives through your awesome family.

  3. John is my brother and will always be my brother. I love him and will always love him!

    • Back in 1973 I had Mr. Roth in 7th grade. I certainly appreciated him as a great teacher in my middle school years. He and his wife were chaperones on our 8th grade trip to Washington DC. I think that’s telling about his dedication to his students. Who wants to spend your week off with your students outside of school? Thank you for your kindness. It sounds like he led a lovely life. Thank you for being a part of mine.
      Kathy Sohns Tines

  4. John was far more than a teacher at Eisenhower High School. He introduced his students to true love for their world, family, friends and themselves He opened young eyes, minds and hearts to the proposition that they could and should make the world a better place and inspired us to do so. Thank you, John, for your undying love for the world. The planet is a better place because of you. Your positive influences are one of your many memorials. Love, Barthel family

  5. Kathie, I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers, love and angels on their way to help you and your family through this time.

  6. Jacqueline Marie Coursey

    Kathy, Katrina and Anna Kristine, you know that John made a lasting imprint on my heart. I felt such a connection to him, and ultimately and forever to you too. I believe my soul has always know John and you. As an impressionable 15-year old, I was so blessed to learn from John. He offered a kinder lens in which to view and love living beings. Thank you for continuing this journey with me. You will be my sisters forever.

  7. So very sorry for this sudden lose. I know he must have been a great man just by the experience of knowing his daughter’s. My he live on in the hearts and memories of his loved ones.

  8. What a beautiful inclusive soul your father and husband was. Some never get to have someone so bright in their lives. I am sending my heartfelt thanks to his energy and all the good he did. The world is better because of him and his choices to make this planet a healthier one. Thank you for raising two amazing, educated daughters who will continue your legacy.

  9. Thomas J Paonessa

    Rest in Peace our Dear Brother in Law . You will be missed by all in our family. Thank You for the lessons you taught us.

    Kathy and Tom

  10. I’m very sorry to learn of John’s passing. He was a fine, caring educator and a good man. His loss will be felt by many.

    Hildy Corbett

  11. I met John at the Y. He was always in the front of the Class with such kind eyes. He was always willing to help me out with anything when I was Instructing. He was always game to try something new. If He liked a Class, He always let me know. It always meant a lot to me because He had been a School Teacher.

    He was so very kind. He hand-carved a tiny pen ornament and a wood snowman for Me as Christmas gifts which I treasure and proudly display. Now, They mean even more to Me. When I needed a referral for Tree cutting, John was the mine I went to. Who knew He would send me a “Kid Rock” doppelgänger 🙂. (He never gave Me a heads up). John was always concerned about Others, and I admired that about Him. To see Him and Kathy together, always made Me smile. You could see the love.

    Rest In Peace John. We will watch over Kathy till You meet again. I will miss You.

  12. Rest In Peace John. Great memories of working with you at Eisenhower. My condolences to your family

  13. Mr Roth will always be one of my favorite teachers of all time. A great human being!

  14. Jacqueline K. Noonan

    During my years teaching at Eisenhower, John was one of the most memorable and inspiring colleagues! His love of children, the earth and life itself was so evident. I learned from him, laughed with him, and loved our heady discussions on every imaginable topic! He was an extraordinarily caring and brilliant educator and very sweet person! The world and those of us who knew him are better for having John in our lives. My deepest sympathy and prayers to his wife, daughters and whole family.

  15. Kathy and family, my condolences to you. I know Kathy from seeing her at the hairdresser’s house. So sorry for your loss. May God bless you.

  16. I had Mr. Roth as a Teacher at St. Jude School in Detroit in 1973-1974. One of the few Teachers that I had that left a lasting impression on me. I still remember him telling a group of us boys on how we should carry our wallet in our back pants pocket and make sure it is on the correct side, depending if you were right handed or left handed. Forty Five years later I still carry it the same way. Rest in Peace Sir.

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