Dean/Coach Tony Roda

Tony Roda passed away Sunday, December 18, 2005.
No doubt he touched each and everyone of our lives while we were at THS and years after.
If you have anything you would like to add to the memorial below, please send it to me.


Anthony Michael Roda, born February 11, 1922 in Jersey City, NJ, passed away on December 18, 2005. He has lived in Tucson since 1952. Tony is survived by his beloved wife, Rosaline; loving children, Michael (Cathy), Roseanne, Gina, and Anthony Jr. (Michelle); grandchildren, Michael Jr., Angela, Dominic, Emi, Jasmine and Mandeep. Tony is also survived by Rosaline's sons, Michael (Cathy), their children, Suzanne, Michelle and William Elliot, and her two other sons, Steve and William. Anthony served in the US Navy on Motor Torpedo Boats (PT 183) during WW II in the South Pacific.

He was a football coach, teacher, Dean of Boys, Assistant Principal at Tucson High School and Assistant Principal at Catalina High School. He was dedicated to the athletes and students whom he mentored. He greatly enjoyed and valued time spent with family and friends, enjoying cooking, food, music, fun and laughter. He was a great fan of U of A football, basketball, lacrosse and baseball. All who knew him will remember him with love, affection, and respect. A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, December 23, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Pius Catholic Church. Anthony Roda celebrated his life everyday and lived it to the fullest. He was a man of great traditions, principles and values, who loved his family, friends and country. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOME, Dodge Chapel. (Published on on 12/22/2005.)

Tony Roda Memorial Page:

This is indeed very sad news. Tony Roda was one of those unforgettable people in my THS years. What a spirit, and what a friend to all of us. Just yesterday I was sharing stories with a friend about playing goalie for "Coach Roda's" makeshift soccer team (my PE class) against the varsity basketball team. We were lucky to come out of that alive, but Mr. Roda had a blast and we would do anything for him ... even risk our lives against "legitimate" athletes.

Tony Roda went on to become legend at Catalina HS and he never ever lost the jest for life that he passed along to so many kids. In the 40-odd years since THS, I have encountered him several times around town. It always amazed me that he remembered virtually everyone's names and could dredge up an anecdote or two without hesitation. He was an amazing man, a quality educator ... and obviously a great parent. Mike is so lucky to be the son of such a luminary.

Thank you my friend, for passing this along. The stories about Mr. Roda/Coach Roda/Dean Roda/Tony Roda ... will echo far beyond his passing. His is a life to celebrate. We should all be so fortunate. - Al (Alan) Chesser

Of course I remember Dean Roda from our days at Tucson High School….I had never been sent to him for disciplinary action, I was a good boy, always on the straight and narrow. We passed in the halls and I always said hello and he returned the greetings.

At our 20th reunion, (1985 to you), he attended and was as down to earth as the rest of us. It was great to see him and several of us asked what he was doing now that he had retired from education. With such conviction, he said he was a sex therapist. We all believed him and wonder to this day if there was any truth to that.

The best memory I have of Mr. Roda was on November 7, 1999. That was the day that my dear friend Mendy Poliakoff (Ray Poliakoff's brother) was laid to rest after a short bout with cancer.

After the chapel and gravesite service, we all gathered at Mendy's house. Shortly thereafter, the front door opens and in walks Mr Roda. In amazement, we all looked at him and asked what connection he had with Mendy. He said that Mendy played on his football team for a short while when he was the coach and he wanted to stop by and pay his respects.

Most recently, as we all know, he attended our 40th reunion. I was a bit busy and really didn't have time to talk to him, but as he came in with his son Mike, Mr. Roda came up to me and with a very straight face said: "Be in my office first thing Monday morning." - arnie lewin