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Roland A. Wardlow Jr., age 93 of Osceola, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Sunday, December 17, 2023. Roland, affectionately as Rollie to his friends and family, was born September 23, 1930, in Granger, Indiana to the late Roland A. and Dorothy Elizabeth (Keil) Wardlow. On April 5, 1952, Roland married the former Ms. Norma VanHoutte in Roseland, Indiana. They celebrated over 68 years of marriage before Norma’s passing in December of 2020. His love story with Norma was one for the ages, a partnership grounded in mutual respect and devotion. Their separation left a void in his heart, but his faith reassured him of their eventual reunion in Heaven.
Roland is survived by his daughters, Sherri L. Wardlow-Arrington of Palmer, Alaska and Lori (Kurt) Weiss of Melbourne, Florida, along with his grandchildren; Philip (Sheri) Wardlow of South Bend, Indiana, Christopher (Kyle) Wardlow of Niles, Michigan, Jennifer Hoadley of Palmer, Alaska, Jonathan Arrington of Palmer, Alaska, Richard (Rebecca) Weiss of Bronx, New York, Silas (Bethany) Weiss of Wesley Chapel, Florida and Nicholas Hoadley of Palmer, Alaska. Surviving as well are his great-grandchildren Paige (John) Whitesell of Daleville, Indiana, Christopher Williams and Samantha Wardlow, both of South Bend, Indiana, James Hoadley, Jackson Hoadley, and Molly Hoadly, all of Palmer, Alaska, six great-great grandchildren, his brother William W. Wardlow of Elkhart, Indiana, eleven nieces and eight nephews. He was preceded in death by his son Gary Wardlow, his son-in-law Thomas Arrington and his siblings Norma (Gene) Kwast, Barbara (Edward) Kwast, Mae Risser, Robert (Sarah) Wardlow and Linda Sheteron.
There will be 2 hours of visitation prior to the 12:00 pm funeral service on Thursday, January 4, 2024, at Cruz Family Funeral Home in Osceola. Roland will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger, following services. ***Rollie's service may be viewed in real time in the video window below. The livestream will begin at 11:55 am.***
Roland was employed for many years in the trucking industry and later became the President of the Teamster’s Local Union #364 of South Bend and the Vice-President of the Northern Indiana Conference for Teamsters.
Rollie's kindness knew no bounds. He was a beacon of hope and support to anyone in need, always extending a helping hand without a second thought. His generosity was not just an act of charity but a fundamental part of who he was. An avid gardener, Roland had a special talent for cultivating hot peppers. His unique talent in growing and blending these peppers was well-known among his friends and family. His signature blend, humorously labeled "Good for what ails 'ya!" in repurposed pill bottles, was a testament to his playful spirit and love for sharing.
His commitment to service was reflected in his extensive volunteer work. Roland dedicated countless hours to homeless organizations, local churches in the Michiana area, and Bethel College. His leadership and wisdom were recognized and highly valued on various boards, including REAL Services, where he was honored as Board Member Emeritus in December 1986. He also made significant contributions as the Executive Chairman of the United Way of St. Joseph County and as a board member at Memorial Hospital, among others.
Roland's legacy is one of unwavering faith, boundless love, and selfless service. A good and kind man, he touched the lives of many, leaving behind a legacy of love and adoration, and we take comfort in knowing that he is at peace with his Savior and reunited with his dear Norma, watching over us with the same love and kindness that he exemplified in life.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers please consider donating to The Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indian, Center for Hospice Care or a local food pantry. To light a virtual candle, share a story of Rollie’s life, or leave a message of comfort for his family, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.