ST. LOUIS – Mercy mourns the loss of an iconic health care leader. Sister Mary Roch Rocklage died Tuesday at the age of 87 after a lengthy battle with an illness.

Sister Roch is considered to be the modern-day foundress of Mercy’s health care system, which serves four different states. Her dedication to health care began in 1954, when she studied nursing under the Sisters of Mercy at St. Xavier University in Chicago, taking her first vows as a Sister of Mercy in 1957.

Sister Roch testified before Congress in 1990 on behalf of the Catholic Health Association in favor of a national health program and discussed health care with then-President George W. Bush in 2002. 

Sister Roch chose to donate her body to science. A private service will be held for the Sisters of Mercy and their immediate families. 

A public memorial service for friends, Mercy co-workers, and others who wish to celebrate her life will be held Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. at the Von Gontard Conference Center at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.