Posted on January 3rd, 2006
Former Eastern Mennonite University faculty member Roy D. Roth, of Eugene, Ore., died Dec. 15, 2005 at age 84.
In 1972, after receiving a master of church music degree from the University of Oregon, Roth joined the music department at EMU, where he taught and directed choirs until 1977. He then became associate professor of church music at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and directed the seminary choir until 1986.
During his tenure, Roth developed and coordinated the Shenandoah Valley Hymn Festival held the third Sunday of November each year on campus, co-sponsored by EMU and Virginia Mennonite Conference.
During this same time period, Roth was minister of music and pastor of the elderly at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church. He returned to Oregon in 1989.
Roth received degrees from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1942 and 1945 and graduated from Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary in 1947.
Ordained in 1944, he was a minister and then became president of Hesston (Kan.) College, 1951-59. From there, he served a pastorate near Siletz, Ore.
On Aug. 28, 1945, he married Carolyn Byler, who survives. Also surviving are four children, a sister, six grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A memorial celebration was held Dec. 21, 2005 at Wesley United Methodist Church, Eugene, Ore.