The following is part of an article written by the Milford Daily News at the time of the dedication of
the War Veterans' Memorial at the Hopedale Village Cemetery.
The first interview was with Gertrude (DeRoche) Santucci of Milford. Her brother, Francis D.
DeRoche gave his young life for his country in World War II.
Francis, a Private First Class in the U.S. Army, was the son of the late Augustine "Gus" and
Leonie DeRoche. One of his parents went to Boston to see him off when he left for military
service. That was the last time the young man's family saw him.
The DeRoche family lived at 7 Maple Street in Hopedale at the time. PFC DeRoche was killed in
combat in Epinol, France on Jan. 24, 1945.
How did his family learn of his death? A Begian Taxi Cab pulled up in front of the DeRoche home.
The driver handed a telegram to the person answering the door. Mrs. DeRoche, seated in a chair
at the time, read the announcement of her son's death.
Mrs. Santucci recalls that her mother's life stopped for two days at that moment. Mrs. DeRoche
never left that chair nor changed her position for two days. Mr. DeRoche suffered a stroke soon
afterwards, which ultimately took his life.
Sometime after the receipt of the telegram, the family received a cardboard box containing
Francis' personal belongings. They learned later that Francis is buried in Epinol, France in the
Francis' only surviving brother, Joseph DeRoche and his wife will be present for the dedication on
Nov. 11, as will Francis' three sisters, Agatha Connor and Gertrude Santucci, both of Milford and
Margaret Canali of Framingham. Milford Daily News, November 9, 1994.
DeRoche's brother-in-law, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, was also killed during World War II.
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