John Jenkins LaRoche, 79, died peacefully June 30, 2023, at his home in Ravenel, after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
He was born in Charleston, June 5, 1944, to Evelyn and Micah LaRoche, and grew up in the marshes and byways of Rockville and Rantowles. His knowledge and love of his home place would direct his career choices. He ran tugboats for a decade, then captained the Marine Resources vessels, Carolina Pride and Anita. He joined the SC Department of Natural Resources as a law enforcement officer, captaining the vessel Wildlife I, for fifteen years.
A true Southern gentleman, he employed his gift of hospitality through memorable events of oyster roasts and low country boils for friends and family. He will be remembered for his charismatic personality and unfailing wit. John never met a stranger and readily formed lasting friendships with people from all walks of life. The majesty of Africa captured his heart. He cherished sharing it with others in a dozen trips over the years. He was a founding member of the Low Country Chapter of Safari Club International. He enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow history buffs in several societies: the Palmetto Guard, Washington Light Infantry, French Society, War of 1812, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Military Order of the Stars and Bars and others.
In 1999, he met Martha Buck and they married at her family home in Maine. He then added Alamoosook Lake to his list of favorite places. 24 summers there were idyllic.
He is survived by his wife, Martha, daughter Stephanie Gale (George), grandsons William and John Thomas Gale, siblings Micah LaRoche (Jane) and Susan P. Molony, and stepsons Bucky DaVega and Henry DaVega (Erin). His parents and two other sisters preceded him in death.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund or Lowcountry Hunt. A memorial event will be held at a later date.
Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. West Ashley Chapel.