He was born near Clinton Falls in Putnam County to parents Arvel and Zella (Thomas) Roach.
He grew up in Greencastle and was a 1951 graduate of Greencastle High School. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict from 1953 to 1956.
Jim married Natella Ann Parker on Dec. 27, 1970 in Zionsville, IN. They lived in Lebanon for 39 years.
Jim worked as a printer his entire life. He started at age 12 sweeping floors at the Putnam County Graphic newspaper and continued there until he joined the Army at age 19.
After returning home he attended the Milo Bennett Linotype School in English. In late 1956 he moved to Lebanon to work at Pioneer Printing for the late Carney and Delcie Evans. After working for the Evans' for 17 years, he and his wife bought the company, which they then owned until 1979. After that he worked for Herff Jones for 19 years, then The Rytex Co. and Best Printing. After retiring from printing, he worked at Crown Pointe Senior Living as a resident assistant. This was one of his favorite jobs and he loved being the "morning coffee man."
Jim has been an active member of First Baptist Church since 1986. He served on the Diaconate Board, Board of Christian Education, Sunday School Superintendent, Usher, Vacation Bible School leader, camp counselor and assisted with Children's Church. He was a leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He coached youth sports when his sons were young. He was a member of Kiwanis and was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Jim was most proud of his two sons and their accomplishments, especially on achieving their Masters degrees. He had a deep love for his siblings. Family gatherings were his favorite things. His hobbies included bowling, playing euchre, gardening and home improvement projects.
Jim is survived by his wife Natella; two sons; James C. and wife Catharine (McElwee) Roach of Bloomington and George and wife Dawnielle (Rowe) Roach of West Chicago; two grandsons, Parker (5) and Clayton (6 weeks), both of Bloomington; two sisters, Lucille White of Greencastle and Mildred O'Neal and husband Chet of Greencastle; brother Thomas Roach and wife Suzie of Greencastle; 34 nieces and nephews and many great nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Margaret Underwood and Kathryn Marshall and niece Donna Marshall, all of Greencastle.
A celebration of Jim's life will be at First Baptist Church in Lebanon on Saturday. Visitation will be from 9 until 11 a.m. with memorial service following at 11 a.m. Jim will be interred at Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle at 4 p.m.
The family requests that no flowers be sent, but instead requests that contributions in Jim's memory be made to First Baptist Church 207 W. Washington St. Lebanon, IN 46052, Boy Scout Troop 359 (in care of First Baptist Church), the National Kidney Foundation 30 East 33rd St. New York, NY 10016 www.kidney.org, Alzheimer's Association P.O. Box 96011 Washington, DC 20090-6011 www.alz.org.
Arrangements were handled Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center, Zionsville.