Kathy Ann Held

February 18, 1953 - May 7, 2021
Kathy Ann Held

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Kathy (Kaete) Ann Roche-Held was born February 18, 1953, and made her transition on May 7, 2021.

Kathy (Kaete) Roche-Held, a resident of Carolina Beach, NC is the daughter of the late Neal and Aileen Roche of South Orange, NJ. Kaete was the youngest of six children; Mary Aileen Starkey, Neal Roche, J. Patrick Roche, Robert Roche, and Marguerite Pizzi. Kaete’s best friend in high school, Jeannie Held, introduced her to her husband’s brother Alan Held. Kaete and Alan married in 1994.

Kaete attended East Orange Catholic High School. She graduated from Kean University in 1974 with a major in Fine Arts and Art Education. She taught in an elementary school in North Jersey, then four years in a middle school in Orange County, California. Kaete directed a girl’s camp on Catalina Island, California. Later in New Jersey she taught Art in high school and then for 20 years at Veteran’s Elementary School in Brick N.J.

Although not having children of her own, her hundreds of students were precious to her. Kaete always built up children and their talents with positive comments and praise. She was missed by everyone when she left teaching.

She was a member of Unity Christ Church in Wilmington N.C. where she taught spiritual principles to children in Sunday School for 20 years. Kaete volunteered at Cape Fear River Watch doing crafts with children.

Kaete excelled in her passion for art. She loved working with clay, building sculptures of characters, sea life, ornate bowls, and anything that caught her fancy. Kaete also enjoyed arts and crafts, basket making, and photography.

Kaete loved sailing with her husband. Together they sailed their boat along the East Coast from the Caribbean Islands to Block Island Sound, NY. They also did sailing tours on the Cape Fear River which were extremely popular. Besides her husband, her dog Gabriel was the love of her life. Like her mother-in-law, Mary Held, her ministry was sending letters and cards to her friends and neighbors, many of which she made by hand.

The inner workings of Kaete were most notable. She was a humble and very patient person. There was no blame or complaints. Kaete had no thought of what could have been but gratitude for what is, and gratitude for what has been and what can be. Her thoughtfulness, generosity, and friendship to those in need is the true Kathy Roche Held.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, June 11th at 12:00 noon at Long Leaf Park, Shelter 6.

Donations may be made to ASPCA Gift Processing Center, P.O Box 96929, Washington DC 20077-7127 or by clicking on this link.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st St. Wilmington, NC 28403


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  • May 11, 2021
    Carol Scull says:
    I will always remember her sailing on the River and also what a great job she did fixing up the cottage, when she lived in NJ!!

  • May 11, 2021
    Roseanne Palladino says:
    Katie was the most vibrant. Beautiful talented, carding your woman I ever met! Alan completed her! Whenever I saw Katie-did we would both laugh and enjoy the moment! She was Memorable. Everyone knew Katie loves her she will be sorely missed

  • May 11, 2021
    Annette Cook says:
    Kaete was brave, kind and compassionate and my life is better having known her. I will miss her sweet smile.

  • May 12, 2021
    Maureen Starkey Bonavita says:
    Our aunt, Kathy Ann you were sooo loved!! I have so many wonderful memories as we were growing up...just a few that come to mind right away are,Your convertible white MG(too cool), Bringing us to Bayhead Shoppers wharf, treating me to Muellers chocolate chip giant cookies and swimming in Poppy's pool with us! You always were up for having fun and shared that joy with us. I loved visiting your cottage,doing crafts and hearing all the stories about Catalina Island. Your carefree fun, kindness and laughter will still continue to live with us. Thank you for those gifts.....We Love You!!!!

  • May 12, 2021
    Sheila Boylan says:
    Sheila Boylan