Thomas Bancroft

Roshek, Jr.

image description

Thomas Bancroft Roshek, Jr.

Apr 04 1943 - Nov 29 2020

Thomas Bancroft Roshek, Jr. passed away on November 29th, 2020 at his home in Dallas, Texas of heart failure. He was born April 4th, 1943, the son of Thomas B. Roshek, Sr. and Betty Roshek Richardson of Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated high school from Shattuck School of Faribault, Minnesota and attended the University of Denver. Tom served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. As a young boy, Tom enjoyed roaming the floors of Roshek’s Department store, especially the toy department and spending countless hours on the Mississippi River with his parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. Remarkably he developed an affinity for waterskiing barefoot, which wasn’t easy with a size 6 foot! As he grew older, so did his love for the Mighty Mississippi. He enjoyed piloting towboats (especially the Ann King operated by the Mid-America Transportation Company) up and down the river and through the locks. On dry land he developed a love for fast cars, notably drag racing. In 1964 he won a national championship piloting a super-charged coupe. That car ultimately blew up on the track, but Tom’s love for hot rods persisted throughout his life. He had a keen interest in NHRA drag racing and in his later years loved spending time in his Shelby Cobra complete with original 427 side oiler. When not piloting a towboat or racing a car, you could find Tom at the Dubuque Shooting Society (990 Club) or at Dubuque Golf and Country Club playing Gin Rummy into the wee hours of the night. Always a gentleman, he stayed in touch with his many friends throughout his life.

Tom married the love of his life Jann Sue Kluck of Dubuque in 1976. They returned to the Mississippi for their honeymoon, piloting their houseboat up to Minneapolis where they would soon live for the next six years to start a family. He was offered a sales position at Flexsteel Industries, Inc. and decided to relocate down south to Dallas, Texas where he would spend the next 36 years. Using the word “y’all” never caught on with Tom, but he enjoyed Texas and his family flourished. Tom never met a stranger. He quickly made his mark on the neighborhood due to his fun-loving personality and love for chit-chat. In Dallas as a young dad, “Big Tom” would be found on the baseball or softball fields helping coach during every practice or making sure the field conditions were up to his standards. It would be no surprise to find him on a riding mower in the outfield or picking up rocks in the infield ensuring the fields were perfect. He was always behind the video camera in the stands videoing his children, cheering them on, and beaming with pride. Nightly family dinners were a must and the tradition turned into Sunday family dinners when he became “Pop-Pop” to his grandchildren. Tom playfully started referring to his family as the “Griswold’s” during those Sunday family dinners and the name stuck. He loved to barbecue ribs and “k-bobs” with his wife and have the whole clan over to enjoy. A highlight every year was family vacations to his favorite place, Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida to visit his parents and of course, do some saltwater fishing. He would deem the day of fishing successful if there were yellowtail, hog fish, grouper, and mangrove snappers in the cooler. He loved spending time with his family and bragged of their accomplishments whenever he could find someone to listen. In his later years, his greatest joy was spending time with his five grandchildren and bouncing each of them on his lap humming the William Tell Overture over and over again. His favorite activities as “Pop-Pop” were swimming, going to dance recitals and soccer games, and hanging out on his bed which inevitably led to five little monkeys jumping on the bed.

Tom is survived by his wife, Jann of 44 years; son, Dr. Thomas B. Roshek, III (Tara) of Dallas and their children, Sophia and Thomas IV; daughter, Carolyn Schultz (David) of Dallas and their children, Hayden, Parker, and Grey; sister, Lorraine Roshek (Sanford) of La Jolla, California; several brothers-in-law, Bill (Lois) Kluck, Tom (Liz) Kluck, David (Carol) Kluck, Michael (Robin) Kluck; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom Sr. and Betty of Dubuque; brother, Stephen of San Diego, California; in-laws, Merlin and Bobbie Kluck of Dubuque; and sisters-in-law, Patricia Kluck Bertsch of E. Lansing, Michigan and Jeanne Kluck Knott of San Diego, California.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Celebration of Life is being planned for late summer 2021 in Dubuque. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma which supports the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and the University of Texas Dell Medical School in Austin as those institutions continue their important research to cure this deadly disease.

image description