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Remembering instructor Harley Roth

Harley Roth. Photo courtesy of the Roth family.

On May 3, 2017, long time Chemeketa Business Management instructor Harley Roth passed away.

He was 78 years old.

Roth, who had been with the college for more than a decade, was found unresponsive by a student in his classroom. Emergency services were notified immediately, and the student rushed to seek help.

Students from the nearby Nursing Program arrived and began CPR on Roth while emergency services were on their way to the scene.

R. Taylor, Chemeketa’s Dean of Business and Technology, Early Childhood Education, and Visual Communications, was Roth’s supervisor at the college and fondly remembers him.

“Teaching here was really important to him,” she said. “The students were important to him. It was a significant part of his life to be a part of this process [of educating students] and a part of the college.”

Roth was popular both among his fellow business instructors and his students.

“He taught Introduction to Business in our Business Management program,” Taylor said. “BA101. It’s a popular course and he was a popular instructor. He would have a pretty full class of students; sometimes one section, sometimes two sections, but regularly he taught every term for us and would have a good sized class.”

Teaching played a large role in Roth’s life, but it wasn’t his first career. He spent more than 50 years in retail management before bringing that experience into the classroom to benefit his students at Chemeketa.

Roth was also a U.S. Army veteran who received a Commendation Medal for meritorious service.

His daughter, Jacinda Roth, said that teaching at Chemeketa meant the world to him.

“He loved his teaching position,” she said. “He was where he wanted to be. He liked mentoring students, and especially mentoring them from education into the business world.”

A funeral service and reception is planned for 11 a.m. on June 17 at the Queen of Peace Catholic church in Salem. The service will include a full Catholic mass, followed by a celebration of life reception.

“[Students and faculty] are more than welcome to come,” Jacinda Roth said. “It’s open to anyone who wants to come and honor Harley.”

In addition, Roth’s daughter said that the family is working to organize a small reception at Chemeketa as well.

“ We’re also trying to work out something on campus,” she said. “The date we’re targeting for that is June 5. We’d like to do something for students and faculty.”

Roth’s family asks that those interested in sending flowers instead send a donation to the Inspire Foundation in his name.