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John L Roland Obituary

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John L Roland

Spokane, Washington

October 25, 1957 - October 10, 2021

John L Roland Obituary

 

 

John Leo Roland, 63, died peacefully with his wife by his side on October 10, 2021, at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington. He was a senior geologist with the Washington Department of Ecology who had worked in the Agency’s Spokane regional office for more than three decades. His sudden death came less than three weeks after a diagnosis of advanced cancer.


John was the beloved husband, best friend, and adventure companion of Megan Hanson Roland, with whom he celebrated 28 years of marriage in September. He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 1957, the son of Dr. Leo J. Roland and Adelaide Henry Roland. He attended General McLane High School in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, where he played and developed a lifelong love of basketball. He enjoyed the yearly NCAA March Madness and became an avid armchair fan of the Gonzaga University Zags. He was a 1980 computer science and geology graduate of Edinboro University, where his father was a dean, and earned master’s degrees in geology and hydrogeology from Western Washington and Washington State Universities.


Raised near a rural area, John was an outdoorsman from childhood. Weekends and vacations were spent with his wife and friends camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, cross country and downhill skiing, golfing, fishing, and bird hunting. Over the years he owned and trained several good hunting dogs but thought his finest was his current field companion, a French Brittany spaniel named Zuni.


Ever the geologist, John took delight in sharing his knowledge about the geological processes that formed the landscapes he traveled. Closer to home, he enjoyed working in the vegetable garden, keeping bees, bird watching and never-ending house projects. His interests and abilities were wide ranging and he never stopped learning. He was a willing dance and bridge partner, enjoyed live music, symphonic performances, theatre and the arts in general.


John began his professional life as a geologist with ARCO Petroleum in Texas and coastal Louisiana. In 1985 he became an environmental consultant in the Seattle office of Ecology and Environment before joining the Washington Department of Ecology in 1991 where he pursued his passion of protecting the environment in the Agency’s Toxics Cleanup Program. He dedicated much of his past two decades to the environmental restoration of the Upper Columbia River, for which he was recognized in April of 2021 with the Department’s prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award.


In addition to his wife, he is survived by a brother, David H. Roland and his wife Janice of Reston, Virginia; two sisters, Gail Roland Wiles and her husband Thomas of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and Ann Roland Richter and her husband Bradley of Erie, Pennsylvania; three sisters-in-law, Kimberly Anderson and her husband Michael of Sagle, Idaho; Lisa Hixson and her husband Richard of Chewelah, Washington; and Karen Hanson of Seattle, Washington.


Other Roland Family survivors include five nephews, Stephen J. Wiles and Adam T. Wiles and his wife Holly; Charles R. Steinfurth and his wife Kristen; David F. Steinfurth; and William J. Steinfurth. Other Hanson Family survivors include five nieces, Claire R. Smith; Anna M. Hixson; Megan N. Hixson; Georgia R. Anderson and her husband Caleb: and Carmen E. Hixson. He is also survived by three great nieces and two great nephews.


A private burial for immediate family will take place in the Roland family plot at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Erie.


Remembrances in John’s honor may be made to the Spokane River Forum, Spokane Nordic Ski Association, and the Edinboro University Department of Geoscience Geology Program.

 

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of John L Roland hosted by Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory.

 

 

John Leo Roland, 63, died peacefully with his wife by his side on October 10, 2021, at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington. He was a senior geologist with the Washington Department of Ecology who had worked in the Agency’s Spokane regional office for more than three decades. His sudden death came less than three weeks after a diagnosis of advanced cancer.


John was the beloved husband, best friend, and adventure companion of Megan Hanson Roland, with whom he celebrated 28 years of marriage in September. He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 1957, the son of Dr. Leo J. Roland and Adelaide Henry Roland. He attended General McLane High School in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, where he played and developed a lifelong love of basketball. He enjoyed the yearly NCAA March Madness and became an avid armchair fan of the Gonzaga University Zags. He was a 1980 computer science and geology graduate of Edinboro University, where his father was a dean, and earned master’s degrees in geology and hydrogeology from Western Washington and Washington State Universities.


Raised near a rural area, John was an outdoorsman from childhood. Weekends and vacations were spent with his wife and friends camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, cross country and downhill skiing, golfing, fishing, and bird hunting. Over the years he owned and trained several good hunting dogs but thought his finest was his current field companion, a French Brittany spaniel named Zuni.


Ever the geologist, John took delight in sharing his knowledge about the geological processes that formed the landscapes he traveled. Closer to home, he enjoyed working in the vegetable garden, keeping bees, bird watching and never-ending house projects. His interests and abilities were wide ranging and he never stopped learning. He was a willing dance and bridge partner, enjoyed live music, symphonic performances, theatre and the arts in general.


John began his professional life as a geologist with ARCO Petroleum in Texas and coastal Louisiana. In 1985 he became an environmental consultant in the Seattle office of Ecology and Environment before joining the Washington Department of Ecology in 1991 where he pursued his passion of protecting the environment in the Agency’s Toxics Cleanup Program. He dedicated much of his past two decades to the environmental restoration of the Upper Columbia River, for which he was recognized in April of 2021 with the Department’s prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award.


In addition to his wife, he is survived by a brother, David H. Roland and his wife Janice of Reston, Virginia; two sisters, Gail Roland Wiles and her husband Thomas of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and Ann Roland Richter and her husband Bradley of Erie, Pennsylvania; three sisters-in-law, Kimberly Anderson and her husband Michael of Sagle, Idaho; Lisa Hixson and her husband Richard of Chewelah, Washington; and Karen Hanson of Seattle, Washington.


Other Roland Family survivors include five nephews, Stephen J. Wiles and Adam T. Wiles and his wife Holly; Charles R. Steinfurth and his wife Kristen; David F. Steinfurth; and William J. Steinfurth. Other Hanson Family survivors include five nieces, Claire R. Smith; Anna M. Hixson; Megan N. Hixson; Georgia R. Anderson and her husband Caleb: and Carmen E. Hixson. He is also survived by three great nieces and two great nephews.


A private burial for immediate family will take place in the Roland family plot at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Erie.


Remembrances in John’s honor may be made to the Spokane River Forum, Spokane Nordic Ski Association, and the Edinboro University Department of Geoscience Geology Program.

 

 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of John L Roland hosted by Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of John L Roland.