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George Roach taught skiing at Anthony Lakes for seven years. He always had perfect skiing form, said Mike Gooderham, a member of the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol. ANTHONY LAKES photo
Mike Gooderham could always quickly identify George Roach on the ski slopes of Anthony Lakes.
Roach was the flawless one.
“He always had perfect skiing form,’’ said Gooderham, a La Grande resident who is a member of the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol.
Gooderham said Roach would be perfectly centered, have his shoulders down and his knees bent.
Roach, who died Friday at age 79 after a short illness, was known for more than his innate feel for skiing — much more. The Baker City resident was blessed with a winning way with people, one which helped him convey the art of skiing to others. Roach was a longtime ski instructor and had taught at Anthony Lakes the past seven years.
“George excelled at teaching. He had a way of teaching people to ski at any level. He showed people that skiing can be easy,’’ Gooderham said.
Roach’s teaching ability was enhanced by his love of skiing. He had 70 years of experience gliding down snow covered mountains.
“He had a great lifelong passion for skiing,’’ Gooderham said.
Roach, who was the director of the Anthony Lakes Learning Center, was certified to teach by the Professional Ski Instructors of America.
At Anthony Lakes Roach was more than an instructor. One year he used his connections to bring in an avalanche rescue team from Utah which uses dogs. The rescue team provided training to the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol. Roach also took steps like helping start a successful ski program for seniors at Anthony Lakes.
Still Roach may be remembered best for the countless ski lessons he gave at Anthony Lakes, in Utah and other places. He never tired of teaching.
“Throughout George’s professional career he always found time (and a mountain) where he could share his knowledge, skills and passion for skiing; where he could ‘pass on’ that knowledge, especially to young people,’’ wrote Peter Johnson, the general manager of Anthony Lakes, on the ski area’s web site.
Johnson added that Roach’s love of the mountain experience and teaching youths was evident to everyone he met Antony Lakes.
“His lifetime of passion for skiing could be seen on his face and heard in his words as he went through his days, on or off the mountain, which touched the lives of many over the years. Simply, George has exemplified the best that the Mountain has to offer,’’ Johnson wrote.
Gooderham also feels this way. He said Roach was the type of person who always had something good to say about people.
“He was a good friend. He was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was very courteous.’’
To honor Roach’s commitment to snow sports and helping young people, the Anthony Lakes Board of Directors has established the George Roach Snow Sport Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide scholarships to up to 30 students in the 2012-13 season who otherwise would not be able to receive lessons via a ski program Anthony Lakes provides area schools.
For information on contributing to the fund visit Anthony Lakes’ web site at www.anthonylakes.com.