Floorcovering veteran, T. Fred Roche, Jr. of Brandon, Florida, passed away May 1, 2013, after an extended illness. He was 83 years old.
A native of West Springfield, Massachusetts, Roche began his floorcovering career 45 years ago selling sponge rubber carpet cushion for U.S. Rubber Co. in New England. After six years, Roche took a job in Chicago selling the same product for B.F. Goodrich. In 1970 he began working with Robert’s Consolidated Industries and covered territory in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia. When Robert’s had a management buy-out in 1976, Roche moved to Florida and became a manufacturer’s representative and enjoyed 28 successful years in business until retiring in late 2004.
Roche introduced his son, T. Fred Roche III, to the flooring industry in 1981 as a sales rep with LD Brinkman SE. His son went on to be division vice-president of Karastan/Bigelow Commercial, then vice-president of sales for Crossley Carpet Mills US. Roche III is currently owner and president of Parterre Flooring Systems in Wilmington, Massachusetts.