William Joseph Roos z"l

William Joseph Roos was born to Josephine Katz Roos and Israel (Isadore) Roos in Baltimore’s Hebrew (now Sinai) Hospital on April 7, 1921. He and his sister, Edna Roos Lewis, who predeceased him, spent their early years in Pittsburgh, where their father was a traveling salesman for the Auerbach Candy Company.  Before the Great Depression, the family relocated to Josephine’s ancestral home in Honesdale, where Isadore joined his father-in-law, W. Jonas Katz, and his wife’s uncle, Leon Katz, in business at Katz Brothers Department Store.

Roos graduated from Honesdale High School in 1938 and spent a post-graduate year at Franklin Day School in Baltimore before entering college at Bucknell University.  He  interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army in 1942.  During his years in the Army, Roos served in the Signal Corp at Camp Crowder, Missouri.  He was also assigned to the Cypher School at Camp Dodge, Iowa and was later based at Camp Florence, Arizona where he served as an interpreter at a German Prisoner of War Camp.

After his discharge from the Army, Roos resumed his studies at Bucknell and graduated with a B.S. in 1947.  He then joined his father, uncle, and brother-in-law, Nathan Lewis, in the  family business, from which he retired as President when Katz Brothers was sold in 1987.

In 1951, he married the former Paula Molla Sparrow, who survives him.

Roos was a member and past president emeritus of the Congregation Beth Israel, and served on the boards of the Wayne County Public Library and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Creamton Fishing Club.

In addition to his wife, Roos is survived by his three children, Liza Lucy of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Sigmund Roos of Concord, Massachusetts, and Joel Roos of San Francisco, along with his son-in-law W. Andrew Lucy, daughters-in-law Ruth E. Rohde and Laurie B. Isenberg, his six grandchildren, Alexandra G. Lucy, Elizabeth M. Lucy, Eleanor A. Roos, David T. Roos, Hannah G. Roos, and William S. Roos, his niece and nephew Ellen Lewis Stovall of Gaithersburg, Maryland and Stephen J. Lewis of New York and many cousins and friends.

Those wishing to make a gift in Roos’s memory are asked to consider Congregation Beth Israel, 615 Court Street, the Wayne County Public Library, 1406 North Main Street, or the Wayne Memorial Hospice, 601 Park Street, all of Honesdale, PA 18431.

Services will be held at Congregation Beth Israel at 2:00 pm Friday, May 15, 2015 and the family will receive visitors wishing to pay their respects at the Synagogue from 12:30 until 2 on Friday from noon to 3 pm on Saturday at home.


  1. Henry Skier 

    May 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    There are times in our lives when grief and sadness overwhelm us.

    It is Sunday, the day that Bill Roos would come to our basketball games to ask if we might need him as our goalie! I need my goalie, but Bill passed away late yesterday.

    Bill Roos was, like I, a Honesdale homeboy, whose family were founders of our Congregation. Bill was the president of our Congregation, loved and respected, a thoughtful and considerate human being with a keen and sparkling intellect, and he was kind and a caring friend to my family and to me, and to many of us.

    My family and I love Bill Roos. Life without Bill is not imaginable for us.

    Our sympathy and respect to Paula, Liza, Sig, Joel, and their families.

    May Bill Roos rest in peace.


  2. Steven Singer 

    May 11, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Beth Israel will go on, but it won’t be the same without Bill. Condolences from the Singer family.

  3. Ann Oliveri 

    May 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    To Paula, Liza, Sig, Joel, and Your families.
    Our deepest sympathy.
    May Bill rest in peace.
    Ann Oliveri and Rachael Perri

  4. beverly bennett green 

    May 11, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    My condolences to Paula and the children. I met Paula before she married Bill at her parents’ cottages. The Sparrows and my parents Bert and Arnold Bennett of Narrowsburg were good friends. I remember how excited we all were when Paula and Bill got engaged. I was younger and so knowing someone who was in love and engaged was pretty special. Having just lost my 47 year old son, I know too well the feeling of grief. I will hold you, Paula, and your family “in the light” which is a most meaningful Quaker expression of love and support. It has been a comfort to me and I hope to you.
    Beverly Bennett Green

  5. Bob and Alycia Schwartz 

    May 12, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    A finer example of how to live life can’t be found. Thank you Bill for being an inspiration to our congregation and our community. Our condolences go out to the entire Roos family.

  6. alan cooper 

    May 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Bill’s life was a lesson in kindness.
    Whoever said only the good die young didn’t know Bill Roos.

  7. Dorothy Lewy 

    May 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    John and I send our sincerest condolences to the entire Roos family. Our thoughts are with you

  8. Steve Barkin 

    May 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Glad we were able to spend time with Bill during our last trip to Hnesdasle What a nice man. May his name be for a memory. Condolences to Paula and the entire Roos family.