Madeleine A. Roche, (née Courtemanche)

October 22, 1927 - July 13, 2020

Obituary for Madeleine A. Roche, (née Courtemanche)

Cherished soul, age 92, of Brooklyn Center, passed away from natural causes on July 13th, 2020, at Jones-Harrison Residence, Minneapolis.

Survived by her beloved children, Michèle (Bruce), Barbara (Jon), Phil (Shelly), Stephen (Annie), Denise (Babe deceased), Tim (Nancy), Kham (Hyng), and Gisèle (Scott): 17 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, sisters, Lorraine Pilon (Ronald) and Francine Roche (Chris), as well as a large extended family, and many devoted friends.

Preceded in death by husband of 60 years, Joseph, son John, brother Rhéault, sisters Emelienne, Suzanne, and parents Emile and Eva Courtemanche (née Cyr).

Madeleine was born in Saint-André-Avellin, Québec. Much like her father, her heart was filled with joy and music. While working on a military base in Goose Bay Labrador, she met her husband, a naval aviator, Joe Roche. They wed October 15, 1949 in Duhamel, Quebec, Canada. Together, with their Catholic faith as their foundation, they navigated the States as Joe served 21 years as a LCDR in the US Navy. In the 1970’s along with raising their eight children, they opened their home to foster several Vietnamese refugees, sponsored families, and individuals in need of support and respite. Madeleine’s commitment to serve God and her fellow man led her to create the Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) in 1970. One of the first of its kind in the country; often used as a prototype for the creation of similar programs throughout the States. Today, CEAP continues to serve the communities in the NW suburbs. Through her work and the support of her church, St. Alphonsus, Madeleine received many awards and much recognition.

Her greatest joy was her family. Madeleine had a fierce love for her cultural heritage and Quebec, kept alive for family and friends through music, dance, food and celebration. Her heart was immense. There was always enough room at the table, food to share and support to give. Even when ill and in need of help, she advocated for others right up to her last moments. Throughout her life she led by example, a beacon of faith for so many. Through her engagement with others, tenacity and love of humanity, Madeleine challenged us all to be our better selves.

On se souvient, maman!

Arrangements being handled by Evans Nordby, Brooklyn Center 6000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center. Funeral mass will be at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, July 24, at 11:00 a.m , 7025 Halifax Avenue North, Brooklyn Center, with a public reviewal one-hour prior. Burial will immediately follow at Mound Cemetery.

If you're unable to join us in person, the family would like to invite you to attend the service via livestream at:

In lieu of memorials to the family, donations to Avivo Non-Profit Organization


Friday, July 24th

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
7025 Halifax Ave N.
Brooklyn Center, MN

Driving Directions

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, July 24th

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
7025 Halifax Ave N.
Brooklyn Center, MN

Driving Directions


Friday, July 24th Immediately following Mass

Mound Cemetery
3515 69th Ave N.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429

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