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COL. (Ret) Joel Leonard Roth

Obituary for COL. (Ret) Joel Leonard Roth

December 21, 1924 - May 12, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 93

Obituary

Joel Leonard Roth, aged 93, died the afternoon of Saturday, May 12, 2018 among family at his home in Austin, Texas. He was born on December 21, 1924, in Northampton, Pennsylvania to Isidor and Lillian Roth.

Joel is survived by his children Bennett, Marc, Eric, and Susan, his grandchildren Andrew, Alex, and Alan, his daughters-in-law Maria Roth, Mariann Roth, and Kim Banda, and his sister Jean Mandel. He is preceded in death by his wife, Anne Roth.

Joel excelled academically throughout school; he helped preserve many a teacher's sanity through his respect, hard work, desire for excellence, and appreciation. He carried these qualities throughout his life and was a mensch to all of those around him, not the least of which were his children.

As a youth and a young man, Joel loved writing plays and acting. With five sisters, one brother, and numerous cousins, he had plenty of talent to recruit for his theatrical endeavors. As an adult, he performed with the San Antonio Theatre Guild in The Caine Mutiny and the Glass Menagerie, and, had he not pursued a military career, would have pursued writing and acting.

Joel's military career spanned nearly 35 years. He had multiple opportunities to start a private medical practice, but was dedicated to serving his fellow service members. He entered active duty on October 6, 1948 as an intern at Temple University in Philadelphia. His duty stations included Fort Lewis, Washington; Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; Letterman Army Medical Center on the Presidio in San Francisco; and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

On July 26, 1950, Joel left for Korea, serving as Battalion Surgeon for the 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Regiment. On the night of September 6 of that year, Captain Roth was injured when North Koreans attacked the aid station. He was the first medical officer to be wounded in the Korean Conflict.

Joel retired with the rank of Colonel effective July 1, 1983. His decorations included the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal with 1st OLC, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1st OLC, Combat Medical Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, and the Surgeon Generals "A" Prefix.

In addition to his dedication to the military, his patients, and his family and friends, was his dedication to his Jewish faith and the temple. He was the Jewish Lay Leader at Fort Sam Houston for over two decades, providing Jewish personnel and their families an opportunity to find religious fulfillment while in the service of our country. He was an active member of Agudas Achim in San Antonio, attending morning Minyan daily, serving as Treasurer, and helping wherever and whenever needed.

Joel would sing Mr. Moon to his children at night before bed, and his version always brought a smile to them as they drifted off to sleep. "Mr. Moon, Moon, bright and shiny moon, won't you please shine down on me." Joel will certainly continue to shine down on his children and all of those who had come to know him.

The Roth family would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff at Kindred Hospice in Austin, especially the nursing staff, and to all those who loved and cared for Joel.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018
4:30PM
AGUDAS ACHIM MEMORIAL GARDENS
1727 AUSTIN HIGHWAY
SAN ANTONIO, TX

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Porter Loring Mortuary

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San Antonio, TX 78212
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