Funeral services for Donald Roiland of Chokio, will be held Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chokio. Reverend Gloria J. Anderson will be officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chokio. Burial will be in Bellingham Cemetery in Bellingham. Military honors will be provided by the Chokio American Legion and the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Donald Theodore Roiland, son of Theodore "Ted" and Esther (Nelson) Roiland, was born Jan. 2, 1934 in Louisburg, where he began his schooling at a Country School. He later went to Appleton High School, graduating in 1952. Don continued his education at NDSSS in Wahpeton, N.D., where he received a degree in Business. Don enlisted in the United States Army, serving during the Korean War. He later received an honorable discharge due to an injury. On Sept. 6, 1959, he was united in marriage to Marjorie Brehmer. The couple made their home in Morris, where Don worked as a bookkeeper for Esser Motors. In 1962, Don moved his family to Chokio, where he worked for Federated Telephone for two years as an office manager and accountant and in 1964 became their general manager. When Don started, Federated was only 10 years old and had been operational for only seven years. He was a pioneer in the telecommunications industry and a great advocate for providing state of the art services for rural Minnesota. During Don's career, services were upgraded from party lines to one-party service. In 1965, Federated started a major project of burying its aerial cable. The community of Alberta became one of only two RUS (Rural Utility Service) field trials in the Nation to bring fiber optics to the home. He served on many boards and committees such as MEANS (Minnesota Equal Access Networks), AMTU (Association of Minnesota Telephone Utilities) and IISC (Independent Information Services Corporation) as well as many committees on the state and national level. He was a long term member of the MTA (Minnesota Telephone Association) and served on the board for eighteen years. Don was very instrumental in bringing Onvoy Operator services to Chokio to bring jobs to rural Minnesota. Don was also a community minded individual where he volunteered on the local fire department, Chokio Commercial Club and Economic Development Commission, American Legion, School board, and served as Treasurer for his church. He retired in 1998 from Federated Telephone. Following retirement, Don went on to become a licensed realtor, volunteered as a driver for Rainbow Rider, and served on the Steven's County HRA board. Don enjoyed fishing, hunting, yard work, farming, and bowling. For the past 40 years, Don's family spent their summer vacations at the lake, enjoying the time they spent together.
Don died after a courageous fight against cancer on Monday, April 25, 2011 at Essentia Grace Home in Graceville, having lived to reach the age of 77 years.
He is survived by his wife: Marjorie Roiland of Chokio; three sons: Greg (Karen) Roiland of Maple Plain, Bruce (Christine) Roiland of Elk River and Jeff (Jane) Roiland of Willmar; two daughters: Teresa (Jeff) Scheldorf of Chokio and Virginia (Scott) Kurtzweg of Bemidji; 16 grandchildren; three brothers: Alvin (Barb) Roiland of Atwater, Gary (Mary) Roiland of Louisburg and Mark (Mary) Roiland of St. Cloud; four sisters: Marlys (Dick) Gilbertson of St. James, Betty (Jerry) Stensrud of Madison, Wanda (Steve) Daehlin of Spokane, WA and Dawn Roiland of Willmar and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson: Joseph Roiland; one nephew: Dean Stensrud.
Pallbearers for the service are Don's grandchildren: Megan Roiland, Kayla Roiland, Nathan Roiland, Isabel Roiland, William Roiland, Haley Scheldorf, Andrew Scheldorf, Kirsten Scheldorf, Colten Scheldorf, Katelyn Roiland, Alexander Roiland, Jacob Roiland, Alyson Roiland, Sydney Kurtzweg, Hattie Kurtzweg and Jocelyn Kurtzweg. Honorary pallbearers are all who called Don friend and the Chokio Volunteer Fire Department Members. Julene Amborn will serve as organist for the service. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.pedersenfh.com; www.tributes. com/show/Don-Roiland-91315764