Gone but not forgotten: A campus cockroach inspires a spectacular shrine.


Rosie the Roach met a tragic end on the staircase of the Anthropology building at Texas A&M University. Whether it was death by stomping, or all the drinking and smoking finally caught up her, we may never know.

She lay lifeless, on her back with her legs in the air, unnoticed for at least two weeks before one kindhearted soul marked the significance of her loss with a paper grave.

Professor Michael Alvard shared the touching sentiment and the incredible shrine that grew on social media over the following fortnight.

“There has been a dead cockroach in the Anthropology building’s stairwell for at least two weeks. Some enterprising person has now made her a little shrine,” he posted along with this picture on Facebook on December 4.

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

Ever the observant anthropologist, he continued recording his observations, posting this later that day:

“Interesting…” he noted of the flowers, Band-Aids and bulldog clip left in honour of the departed insect.

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

The tributes – including a lollipop, cigarette (because what roach doesn’t love a smoke) and a ‘Never Forget’ sign – kept flowing:

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

He posted the following day: “There is a candle now and a little coffin for the carcass… And for the record, I had nothing to do with the genesis of this memorial.”


Yes, overnight a coffin was built for the beloved cockroach and a candle and bottletops left in her honour.

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

And later that day: “Somebody built a funeral pyre…”

The pyre, used for the ceremonial burning of a body, was a sure sign of things to come.

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

Three days later, among the religious candles, soft toys and cash left at the memorial, vital details of the funeral and wake were announced. A sign stated: “Rosie the Roach will be with us until Tuesday, December 14th when a celebration of her life will be conducted. Food and drinks will be served in the main office during the afternoon.”

A Post-It note of the wall shared the feelings of many: “You were always there to say hello to me in the morning, Rosie! We will miss you.”

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

Another eight days (and one joint placed on the pyre) later:

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

Testimonials filled the walls:

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

And then, the public mourning came to an end.

The following day, Rosie was incinerated. “They cremated the roach this afternoon,” the Professor shared with all those that had come to know Rosie.

Image via Facebook/Michael Alvard.

It seems a fitting end for a clearly beloved campus figure.

Let’s hope many beers were cigarettes were consumed in her memory.