Norman I. Roth, 75, was 4th generation Jewish funeral director

Norman I. Roth

By Robert A. Cohn, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Norman I. (“Digger”) Roth, a fourth generation owner/funeral director of Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel, died Wednesday, June 10, “peacefully at home, surrounded by family after a long battle with cancer,” according to a family statement.  He was 75 and a lifetime resident of St, Louis.

Norman Isaac Roth was born in St. Louis on September 1, 1945, son of Clarence and Gertrude Rosenberg Roth. 

Known for his sense of humor, he was fondly known as “Digger” by his friends based on Digger O’Dell, the “friendly undertaker” character on the old “Life of Riley” radio and TV show.

Mr. Roth took over the family funeral home business, the Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel, at age 19, upon the sudden death of his father. He became the fourth-generation owner and funeral director of the business.

“Dad chose to carry on his family’s legacy of service to the Jewish community,” said his son Craig Roth, who is vice president and a funeral director at Rindskopf-Roth. “Dad was charismatic and compassionate and felt honored to help families during their greatest time of need.”

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While he indeed had a warm sense of humor, Mr. Roth took his professional and organizational activities very seriously. 

Donald Meissner, executive director of the New Mt. Sinai Cemetery Association told the Jewish Light, “When I started at New Mt. Sinai, Norman called me to discuss current and ongoing topics, and he was very interested in day-to-day operations. Over the next several months we had several lively and substantive conversations. I am grateful for his long service and wise advice.”

Neil Marglous who served with Mr. Roth on the board of the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer, said, “Norman was always a strong supporter of our group. [H]e acted as a mentor to many of our younger members, and especially his son, Craig, who has carried on Norman’s support of the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer.”

Craig Roth noted that his father was known for his generous nature, charming personality and warm sense of humor.

Mr. Roth was a longtime member of Meadowbrook Country Club and an avid golfer. He was a Master Mason, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner for more than 50 years.

Because of the pandemic, a private funeral was held, where Rabbi Mark Shook, Emeritus of Congregation Temple Israel officiated.

Survivors include his wife Michele “Mickey” Silverman Roth, son Craig Roth (fiancé Lesley Loebner) and daughter Candice S. (fiancé Michael Guyton) Roth; two grandchildren and one grandchild due in August.

Contributions in Mr. Roth’s memory may be made to the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer, 12951 Olive Blvd., St. Louis 63141.

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