Lacey Carolyn (Root) GREY (formerly Roe)
Lacey Carolyn (Root) Grey (formerly Roe) of Waukee, IA, 56, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Des Moines, IA following a long battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Iles Dunn’s Chapel, Des Moines will host a visitation 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25. A private family burial will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, KS. A memorial service will be held 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27 at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, followed by visitation until 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Lacey was born on January 8, 1964 in Springfield, MO to Chester Archie Root and Carolyn Sue (Lacey) Root. She grew up in Topeka, KS graduating from Shawnee Heights High School in 1982. Growing up she was dynamic, fun loving, intelligent and always looking for a new adventure. She displayed a love of life and a never ending optimism grounded in the belief that she could overcome all obstacles and accomplish anything she set her mind to achieving. This showed in her college career when she completed two degrees in four years in spite of attending three schools. After playing tennis at Washburn University and attending the University of Colorado, Lacey graduated from the University of Kansas in 1986 with bachelor degrees in Advertising and Public Relations.
Following college, Lacey’s positive attitude and drive allowed her to pursue a highly successful and varied corporate career while at the same time remaining a devoted mother. Lacey married William Keith Roe on July 11, 1987 in Topeka, KS. The couple settled in Honolulu, HI as Keith was in the Navy. When Keith was deployed overseas Lacey returned to Topeka, KS where Keith joined her after completing his service in the Navy. Lacey spent this time launching her career holding several positions at different advertising agencies, each with increased responsibility. Lacey eventually accepted a position at Sprint as a Senior Market Manger in Overland Park, KS. The couple moved to the Kansas City suburbs and welcomed Keith’s nephews, Benjamin Roe and Jason Roe, into their home.
Lacey and Keith decided to expand their family and adopted Jacob Christian Roe, who was born in Romania in September of 1996. The Roe’s moved to Marrieta, GA when Lacey accepted an offer to become Director, Channel Marketing with the rapidly expanding internet service provider Earthlink in Atlanta. While at Earthlink Lacey rose to hold the positions of VP, Customer Experience and Chief Customer Officer. The family grew larger in Georgia with the adoption of two more children from Romania, Douglas William Roe born on September 29, 1999 and Allison Faith Roe born on April 3, 2001.
While in Atlanta Lacey was an avid tennis player in Atlanta’s USTA leagues and helped her teams win multiple titles. Lacey and Keith divorced in 2003, and Lacey kept busy as a devoted mother, tennis player, and corporate executive. She eventually left Earthlink to become the Vice President of Customer Retention for Homebanc Mortgage, a position she left after a short time to become the Director of Customer Service at MFG.com.
In 2008 Lacey married Stephen Grey and accepted the position of Leader (Director), Customer Experience with Merck Pharmaceuticals outside of Philadelphia, PA. At Merck, Lacey managed the US customer experience across all channels and worked to refine Merck’s delivery of a dynamic customer experience. Lacey left Merck in late 2011 and returned to Atlanta for a year while searching for her next adventure. Lacey, Jacob, Douglas and Allison moved to West Des Moines, IA in November of 2012 for what was intended to be a short stay with her brother, Thomas Root, while Lacey continued to search for her next position. It soon became apparent that Lacey’s prolonged job search was because Lacey was not her normal dynamic self, and her long battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy began,a fight that could not be won even with Lacey’s spirit and determination.
Lacey is survived by her children, Jacob, Douglas and Allison Rose of Waukee, IA; her brothers, Philip Root of Overland Park, KS, Thomas Root of Waukee, IA and Yukihiro Mizutani of New York, NY; and her nephews, Jason Roe of Topeka, KS and Benjiman Roe of Georgia. Lacey was preceded in death by her parents, Chet and Carolyn Sue (Lacey) Root and former husband, William Keith Roe.
The family would like to thank the many health care workers who helped Lacey fight her disease with dignity. The family wishes to give special recognition to Suzanne Ware, PA and Dr. Heike Schmolck, MD who guided Lacey’s medical care throughout her journey; to her home health care aids especially; and to the nurses and staff on floor 5 south of Mercy Medical Center whose compassion and grace eased Lacey’s final days during an extended hospital stay.
Interment will be Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Mt. Hope Cemetery at 10:00 a.m. in Topeka. Memorial service will follow at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home at 11:30 a.m. followed by visitation until 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to CurePSP (www.psp.org) or American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.ASPCA.org).