Long-time Edmonds Rotarian James ‘Rock’ Roth passes away


Many in Edmonds Thursday were mourning the passing of James E. “Rock” Roth, a retired career Naval officer who made his mark helping others through numerous volunteer efforts as an Edmonds Rotarian.

“He typified Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self,” said friend and fellow Rotarian Jim Blossey.

According to Blossey, Mr. Roth retired from the Navy as a full Captain (E-6), after serving as a combat jet pilot, with over a thousand carrier landings. During his career, he was responsible for the siting and development of the Everett Naval Station.

He was immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Edmonds Daybreakers and also was a past president of Edmonds’ noon-time Rotary Club. In addition, he served as chaplain of the Edmonds Post 8870 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and chair of the board of directors of the Burned Children Recovery Foundation.

Through Rotary, Mr. Roth served as a mentor and leader of volunteer efforts at Scriber Lake High School, an alternative high school in the Edmonds School District, and was “very active in other civic and church affairs,” Blossey said.

Mr. Roth is survived by his wife Marilyn as well as children and grandchildren. We will post more information as it becomes available.



  1. Rock was a strong supporter of Scriber Lake High School and will be greatly missed by our staff and students. Many of our students were very familiar with Rock as he took time out to visit with students and would always have a positive word or word of encouragement. He knew each staff member and would “have a chat” with many of them to see how things were going. Rock’s wife, Marilyn, and his family will be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  2. The last time I saw Rock, he asked if I was going to the Annual Rotary Fundraising Dinner in March. I said yes, and will still attend. He was ALWAYS interested in what I was teaching, and knew that our population of incredible students needed support like he was able to provide. Now, when I ride my bike on the Everett waterfront, I’ll tap the bill of my helmet in memory of Rock!!! Look down on us with your continuing generous spirit, my good man…

  3. I was a high school student with Jim in
    Quincy, Michigan. There are so many
    great memories of those days with him.
    I will be spending time specifically remembering those times.

    Our sympathies to Marilyn.

    Bob Geiman

  4. I knew Jim as a hight school student. He was in the class of ’55. I was class of ’54. We used to ride our bikes to the local lake ans swim almost every afternoon. He could swim like a fish. At that time he was a little kid, but as strong as an ox.

  5. I Know Rock & Marilyn From Cleaning There Carpets Twice a Year . .it was always nice to see Rock & Marilyn. Rock will be Missed ! My Prayers go out to the Family ! R.I.P ROCK ! My Friend .

  6. Rock and I entered the US Navy flight program in February 1958. We served together in VT-27 in the mid 60’s and our paths crossed several times during our careers. We met for the last time a few years ago at a RAF’s function in Reno, NV. I am so sorry to hear of his loss. He was an outstanding Naval Officer and, from the notes that I see above, he was equally outstanding in his civilian life. I know that he will be missed by all who knew him.

    • I was also in flight training class 8-58 with Rock and Ralph Gilstrap and met both of them at the RAFS function in Reno a few years ago which was a most enjoyable reminder of the special bonds formed entering the Navy together and for sure he was an old Navy buddy.

  7. I was privelged to serve with Rock in VT-27 and saw him again at the RAFS reunion at Reno. What a pleasure it was to see him and Marilyn again after some 40 years. I never saw him when he was not smiling and enjoying life.
    I am saddened to learn of his passing.