Samuel Lee Rochester – The Inside Diary


Samuel Lee Rochester


Samuel Lee Rochester, 87, of Crown Point, Indiana, passed away on December 23, 2019 after 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.

He was valedictorian and class president at Stanford High School and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in history. He later earned a master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and after graduation served as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Bryson City, NC, First Presbyterian Church, Campbellsville, Kentucky, and at Midland Presbyterian Church University City, Missouri.

In the early 1960s, he marched with Martin Luther King in support of the civil rights movement. In 1973, he earned a master’s degree in special education from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and taught at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf for the rest 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 the winters and eventually moved permanently to Fort Myers, Florida, where he enjoyed the warm weather, biking, and nature viewing. In addition to his long career as a minister and teacher, 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 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Stanford Presbyterian Church. A public memorial service will be held Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the church. Reverend Elizabeth Stone will preside over the service. The memorial service will be streamed live on the Fox & Friend Funeral Home Facebook page. Interment will follow at Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to current COVID-19 regulations, those who have not been vaccinated will be required to wear a face covering. Fox & Friend Funeral Home, Stanford, is responsible for Sam’s local arrangements. Guestbook at


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