Services for Malachi Roach will be held Saturday at a farm because the 17-year-old loved the outdoors.
Hunting, fishing and shooting were favorite pastimes. But his goal since the age of 11 was to join the Marine Corps and be a sniper.
“One of his reasons was that he wanted to defend our freedoms and defend our country and the people who couldn’t defend themselves,” Roach’s mother, Rebecca Roach, said Thursday while taking a rest from making arrangements and preparing for the celebration of her son’s life.
Malachi Roach, who was to have been a senior at Kearney High School this year, was killed in a car wreck Sunday night. He was a passenger in a vehicle that left the roadway on Missouri 92 near Tryst Falls Park and went down an embankment. His mother said he died at the scene, and she is grateful he did not suffer.
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Roach played wide receiver on his school football team and also was on the trap team. He inspired and motivated people around him.
“I am coming to find out he was kind of the unofficial leader of the trap team,” said his father, Ray Roach. “He helped coach a little bit so that the other members could improve their scores and shoot better and hit their birds. It’s kind of interesting to find out some of these qualities of your child after they’re gone. You may not always recognize them when they are right in front of you.”
Malachi Roach also leaves a younger brother, Nathan, who as a sophomore would have been attending the same school as his brother this year.
Aside from loving outdoor activities, Malachi Roach took his studies seriously. In his junior year, he tackled physics. This year, he had signed up for trigonometry. He was going to need both, he told his parents, to succeed as a Marine sniper.
“He was a driven young man who was willing to sacrifice himself,” Rebecca Roach said. “We’re going to miss that. But I’m not totally devastated because he had a relationship with our savior, so we have hope that we’ll see him again on the other side.”