Father David Roesch 1941-2024


The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is mourning the passing of a senior priest. Father David Roesch passed on February 29, 2024, at UPMC Altoona after a brief illness. He was 82 years old.

Father Roesch was born on April 23, 1941, in Altoona, the son of the late Roman and Mary (Costlow) Roesch. He was a native of Sacred Heart Parish in Altoona, where he attended elementary school.

He attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio, and Saint Francis College and Seminary in Loretto.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 1967.

His early assignments included Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona, Saint Andrew Parish in Johnstown, Holy Rosary Parish in Altoona, and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona – all as Assistant Pastor.

In 1973, Father Roesch was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Johnstown, where he served until 1977.

He was then assigned as Pastor of Most Precious Blood Parish in Emeigh and Holy Incarnation Parish in Marstellar until 1983.

In the mid-1980s, Father Roesch served as Pastor of Saint Bartholomew Parish in Wilmore and Saint Agnes Parish in Cassandra.

In 1988, he was appointed Pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Cresson, a post he held until 1996.

His final pastorate was at Saint Joseph Parish in Bellwood from 1996 until his retirement and appointment to Senior Priest status in 2015.

Father Roesch served as Diocesan Director of Vocations from 1980 until 1982 and Vicar Forane (Dean) of the Ebensburg Deanery from 1989 until 1994.

In his early years as a priest, he served as an instructor at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona and Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown. He was also a chaplain at Altoona Hospital and Lee Hospital in Johnstown.

A viewing was held on Friday, March 8 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Stevens Mortuary in Altoona and on Saturday, March 9 from 9:00-9:45 a.m. at Sacred Heart Parish in Altoona.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on March 9 at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Parish with Bishop Mark L. Bartchak presiding.