CAROLINA BEACH — Kathy Ann “Kaete” Roche-Held, 68, was born Feb. 18, 1953, and made her transition Friday, May 7, 2021.
Kathy (Kaete) Roche-Held was the daughter of the late Neal and Aileen Roche of South Orange, New Jersey. Kaete was the youngest of six children, Mary Aileen Starkey, Neal Roche, J. Patrick Roche, Robert Roche and Marguerite Pizzi. Kaete’s best friend in high school, Jeannie Held, introduced her to her husband’s brother Alan Held. Kaete and Alan married in 1994.
Kaete attended East Orange Catholic High School. She graduated from Kean University in 1974 with a major in Fine Arts and Art Education. She taught in an elementary school in North Jersey, then four years in a middle school in Orange County, California. Kaete directed a girl’s camp on Catalina Island, California. Later in New Jersey, she taught art in high school and then at Veteran’s Elementary School in Brick, New Jersey, for 20 years.
Although not having children of her own, her hundreds of students were precious to her. Kaete always built up children and their talents with positive comments and praise. She was missed by everyone when she left teaching.
She was a member of Unity Christ Church in Wilmington, where she taught spiritual principles to children in Sunday School for 20 years. Kaete volunteered at Cape Fear River Watch doing crafts with children.
Kaete excelled in her passion for art. She loved working with clay, building sculptures of characters, sea life, ornate bowls and anything that caught her fancy. Kaete also enjoyed arts and crafts, basket making and photography.
Kaete loved sailing with her husband. Together, they sailed their boat along the East Coast from the Caribbean Islands to Block Island Sound, New York. They also did sailing tours on the Cape Fear River, which were extremely popular. Besides her husband, her dog Gabriel was the love of her life. Like her mother-in-law Mary Held, her ministry was sending letters and cards to her friends and neighbors, many of which she made by hand.
The inner workings of Kaete were most notable. She was a humble and very patient person. There was no blame or complaints. Kaete had no thought of what could have been but gratitude for what is, and gratitude for what has been and what can be. Her thoughtfulness, generosity and friendship to those in need is the true Kathy Roche Held.
Donations may be made to ASPCA Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20077-7127.
Share online condolences with the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation Service.