Lifetime Plymouth resident Raymond Albert Roth, who was well known in northern Indiana for his lengthy career as a television reporter and videographer, died on June 25, 2024, at Miller’s Senior Living Community in his hometown. He was 78 and had battled cancer for several years.

Born on November 21, 1945, to Albert and Mary Ethel (Gretter) Roth, Ray graduated from Plymouth High School in 1963 then the Ray Vogue School of Photography in Chicago in 1966, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a noted portrait photographer in Plymouth for many years.

Ray married his high school sweetheart, Dawn Ann (Travis) Roth, on June 18, 1966, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Plymouth. They were the proud parents of two children, Amy Lyn (Roth) Knapp, and Daniel Paul Roth. Dawn preceded him in death on March 5, 1997.

Also in 1966, Ray joined the Indiana Army National Guard to serve with American troops during the Vietnam War. He was assigned to the 151st Infantry Battalion, which was converted to a Special Forces Unit. While training as a paratrooper at Fort Benning in Georgia, Ray met legendary actor John Wayne, who was learning to parachute for the movie “The Green Berets.” Ray’s unit was not deployed to Vietnam, and he continued his National Guard service on one weekend a month for several more years in Indiana.

In July of 1967, Ray began his 38-year career at WSBT Channel 22, the CBS affiliate station in South Bend. He first worked as a cameraman and chief cameraman, carrying a heavy film camera on his shoulder before broadcast technology evolved to videography equipment. Ray was promoted to assignment editor then named Elkhart Bureau chief and later Plymouth Bureau chief. For many years, he worked as a roving on-air reporter and videographer covering breaking news, daily deadline stories and feature assignments throughout northern Indiana and sometimes southern Michigan. For 15 years, he filmed Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” home football games.

Ray also reported on stories with Indiana connections in Washington, D.C., and filmed a documentary on the Church World Services’ ministry to the poor in Brazil in 1974. His investigative reporting of the Four County Landfill’s illegal disposal of hazardous waste that polluted ground water and the Tippecanoe River near Delong in Fulton County resulted in Federal charges which shut down the facility.

During his years at WSBT, Ray had the opportunity to meet, film or interview many famous people, including presidents, senators, governors, sports stars and celebrities. He covered stories about northern Indiana visits by Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Vice President Dan Quayle, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Army General William Westmoreland, comedian Jerry Lewis, and baseball stars Mickey Mantle and Ernie Banks as well as other notable people. His work was occasionally broadcast on CBS stations across the nation.

In 1988, Ray earned an Associated Press broadcast journalism award for “Indiana Best TV Documentary of the Year” for his documentary on the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Studebaker automobile manufacturing plant in South Bend. He also earned a state Associated Press award in 1989 for his 25th anniversary coverage of the 1964 Palm Sunday tornadoes in northern Indiana.

After retiring from WSBT on November 30, 2005, Ray was honored by Plymouth Mayor Gary Cook with the Key to the City and “Ray Roth Day in Plymouth” in recognition of his almost four decades of television news coverage. In 2009, Ray was named to the Plymouth High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

Ray was a lifetime member of St. Michael Catholic Church and 25-year member of the Knights of Columbus Council in Plymouth. He was also a longtime member of the Indiana News Photographers Association.

During his retirement years, Ray enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends, and cats Sammy and Melvin. His hobbies included photography, genealogy, reading books, watching Notre Dame’s football and basketball games as well as Chicago Cubs baseball games and Plymouth High School sports, studying international and national current events, antique hunting, metal detecting and playing blackjack at area casinos. He also enjoyed family cookouts and attending the Indianapolis 500 race.

Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Dawn Roth; parents, Albert and Ethel Roth; older brother Marte Roth and infant brother Roger Roth. He is survived by his children Amy Knapp and Daniel Roth; son-in-law Bruce Knapp; daughter-in-law Jennifer Roth; grandchildren Emily (Nick) Seltenright, Joseph Knapp, Nathan (Lauren Weston) Knapp, Sarah Collier and Ryan Collier; great-grandchildren Emmelyn, Hank, Hazel and Henry Seltenright; sisters-in-law Patricia Roth and Mary Ann (John) Garber; nephews James (Melissa) Roth, Randall (Alissa) Roth and J.P. (Kelly) Wyand; and niece Joan Wyand.

Palmer Funeral Home – River Park Chapel in South Bend is in charge of arrangements. Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, July 2, 2024 at St. Michael Catholic Church with calling from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. then the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. followed by interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Plymouth. Memorial gifts may be given in his memory to St. Michael Catholic School in Plymouth or the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.