Samuel Lee Rochester

Published 1:51 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Samuel Lee Rochester


Samuel Lee Rochester, 87, of Crown Point, Indiana, passed away on December 23, 2019, following a brief illness and surrounded by his loving family. Sam was born on January 8, 1932 to Sally Mills Craig and John Welch Rochester, Stanford, Kentucky.

Email newsletter signup

He was valedictorian and president of his Stanford High School class and graduated from Princeton University with a history degree. He then obtained a master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and upon graduation, served as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Bryson City, North Carolina, First Presbyterian Church, Campbellsville, Kentucky, and Midland Presbyterian Church University City, Missouri.

In the early 1960’s, he marched with Martin Luther King in support of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1973, he earned a master’s in special education from University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and taught at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf for the remainder of his career.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia “Helton” Rochester; and his children, John Craig Rochester, Elizabeth Ann Miller, and Nancy Leigh Rochester; and six grandchildren, Miles Clay Miller, Jr., Leland James Miller, Andrew Craig Miller, James Douglas Kowalski, Samantha Leigh Kowalski, and Davis Lee Rochester; and two great-grandchildren, Nolan Michal Tharp and Dakota Lynn Miller.

Once Sam retired, he and his wife Pat, spent winters in and eventually moved permanently to Fort Myers, Florida, where he enjoyed warm weather, bicycling and nature watching. In addition to his long career ministering to and teaching others, he was devoted to his family and friends, and enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, reading and history.

He will be lovingly remembered for his patience, civility, kindness, and loyalty. A Public Visitation will be held 10AM-11AM Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Stanford Presbyterian Church. A Public Memorial Service will be held 11:00AM Saturday at the church. Rev. Elizabeth Stone will officiate the service. The Memorial Service will be live streamed on Fox & Friend Funeral Home’s Facebook page. Burial will follow in Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to current COVID-19 regulations, those individuals who have not been vaccinated, will be required to wear face coverings. Fox & Friend Funeral Home, Stanford, is entrusted with Sam’s local arrangements. Guest Book at