John Roth Memorial Tribute

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John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby ToddH » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:55 pm

Ozark Trail Family,

It is with great sadness that we share the news that the founder of the OTA, master trail builder, and our friend, John Roth, died in a tragic accident on July 3, 2009 on his farm in Crawford County. John was driving his tractor when a dead tree toppled over on him as he drove past it, pinning him against the steering wheel.

Details are still forthcoming, but there will be a memorial service on Friday July 17, 2009 in St. Louis. The specific time and location are yet to be determined. His wife Anne indicated that the obituary will request memorial contributions be made to the Ozark Trail Association. The obituary will be published in the Tuesday edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch with further information. Check back to the website with updates next week as we learn more from John’s family.

UPDATE...Sunday evening 7/5:
A memorial visitation for John has been scheduled at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Rd, St. Louis MO 63123. The visitation will be from 4-8 pm on Friday July 17th.
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Hungry Jack » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:49 pm

This is crushing news for me. I got to know John on six OTA outings over the past decade or so. I was amazed by his organizational skills and dedication to the OTA. I think the OTA is the most effective non-profit I have ever encountered.

This is a terrible loss for the Ozark Trail family, but I am sure that John's legacy will thrive. My prayers and wishes go out to his family and extended family that got to know him through his tireless work with the OTA.
Proud contributor to the Middle Fork Section
Hungry Jack
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby butter » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:57 pm

I don't have any words to express how sad I am. My condolences to the Roth family.
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby aroth87 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:09 pm

Count me among the speechless. You will be greatly missed, John.

My Photos

"we see the future in leaping flames, making plans in their enchantment which in the brash light of day seem foolhardy" -Sigurd Olson
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby hikesalot » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:09 pm

To quote the Tin Man; "Now I know I have a heart 'cause it's breaking."
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Steve C » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:54 pm

It is now after 10 pm on the 4th of July. The barbeques and the fireworks are over. And I've had roughly 14 hours to process the news that all of us are trying to digest.

I met John in January 2003 at the second-ever Ozark Trail Association meeting at Powder Valley Nature Center. The meeting was well organized, as I would come to expect from a John Roth-led meeting. I can't even remember all of the business on the agenda that night (probably lots of discussion about the Middle Fork project) except that I mentioned to him that I had some mapping information for him regarding a portion of the Wappapello Section that I had obtained while working on a highway project for my "real job". I also said that I knew how to use GIS computer mapping software. He shot me that wiley John Roth grin and said... "I'd like to talk to you more about this, but I can't tonight. Give me your email." Sure enough, the next day I received an email from John who, in his very crafty way, got me to agree to volunteer for some mapping he needed to have done. He sure was good at setting the hook, wasn't he? And the rest is... shall we say, history.
I will miss John's five-second voice mails on my cell phone, where he would say something randomly stupid and hang up.
I will miss eating sushi with him (he introduced me to sushi).
I will miss citing random quotes from Monty Python with him (in British accents of course).
I will miss his barbeques.
I will miss his writings.
I will miss his dedication, his enthusiasm and his intellect.

I will miss the trailblazer that I met in January 2003. And I will miss my friend.

Steve Coates
Steve C
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Ron & Rosie » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:14 am

WWJD What Would John Do? Ron & Rosie
Ron & Rosie
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Craig Lanham » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:39 pm

I am stunned. John is not only a great loss to he OTA, but to people as a whole. He was accepting of all types of people and his drive to build the OTA was unsurpassed. John not only shared his home and love of the trail with me but had a great historical knowledge of the region. He opened my eyes to so much more of what the Ozark region was and how it came to be.

He will be missed,
Craig Lanham
In every moment there is an opportunity.
Craig Lanham
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby JackW » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:51 pm

I too am shocked. I volunteered at a Mega Event in the Fall of '07. That's where I met John. The next day, I had the privilege of getting a shuttle ride with John as the driver. We drove maybe 45 mins. In that time, John gave me the entire history of the area, complete with Civil War trivia, and he talked me into signing up for a section of the adopt-a-trail, which I currently maintain.

Since that time, I had dozens of phone calls and e-mail with John about all aspects of the trail. He had great energy and enthusiasm and was always quick to offer an opinion or provide needed information.

What a tragedy…my thoughts and prayers go out to John and his family.

Jack Waterbury
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Jim » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:44 pm

Our loss is beyond words.
Our prayers are with your family.

Team Trail Monster is very grateful to have spent last weekend with John, talking trail, the OTA, and lazily floating the Courtois from the upper spring to the lower bluffs right through the farm.
You have touched our lives and will be greatly missed.
Thank you John Roth for everything!
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby hikesalot » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:54 pm

Photo album: In memory of John Roth
By now you must have heard the sad news about John Roth, our fellow hiker and
head of the Ozark Trail Association. He has gone on before us, no doubt to scout
the trail ahead. Like many of you, I was fortunate enough to get to know John
and I am very glad that I got to hike with him a few times. He loved to explore
new places and was a great hiker and hike leader. Below is a link to an album of
three hikes I went on with John. If you never met John then let me introduce you
to him. He could really balance a stack of rocks, I'll tell you that much. I'll
never forget the first time I ever met him. It was Sunday, May 1st, 2005 at
Rocky Falls... ... zarkTrail#
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby JeffG » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:06 pm

Posted on the behalf of the Friends of the Ouachita Trail

Dear Ozark Trail Association Members:

On behalf of Friends of the Ouachita Trail (FoOT) I wish to express our deepest sympathies on the passing of your leader, John Roth. I didn't know John well, but we had met and spoken on several occasions exchanging ideas regarding our mutual love of trails and their care. The loss of a great friend is always difficult and requires the strength of the group to get through tough times. I know you will all miss John very much. Every time each of you are out on the trail doing your volunteer work, individually or as a group, you will remember John as one of the special people who had a vision and made it all come together.


Kris McMillen
Director of Maintenance
Friends of the Ouachita Trail
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby ToddH » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:34 pm

UPDATE...Sunday evening 7/5:
A memorial visitation for John has been scheduled at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Rd, St. Louis MO 63123. The visitation will be from 4-8 pm on Friday July 17th.
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Location: Saint Louis

Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby Eolia Rich » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:53 am

My heart felt condolenses to Johns friends and family.

While I did not know John I did have the honor to meet him earlier this spring when I booked a shuttle over memorial day. The shuttle was not running yet so he showed up in his Tundra truck to shuttle me, my son and another boy from Bell Mtn to Hwy N. I recoginzed his name from the web site and we had a nice converstation. Upon letting us off John was off to lead some college kids who were going to be doing study work on the trail over the spring break.

While is passing is very hard, everyone should be proud of the legecy he has left behind and those are the thoughts that should comfort you.

God Bless you John and happy hiking.

Rich Elliott.
Eolia Rich
Eolia Rich
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Re: John Roth Memorial Tribute

Postby ChrisS » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:59 am

I don't even know what to say about this except that I will greatly miss John.

John was instrumental in getting my family out of the city and into the woods. He always had a great suggestion for a destination, or an answer to any question. My lasting memory of John will be the last saw hike that I did with him a few months ago. He was so intent on getting video for the site he was crawling all around in odd positions just to get the right angles of me sawing down a dead tree. It was the definition of what we all loved about john. His tenacity, desire, and drive to move this organization forward.

You will be missed john!
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