Roland Gerard Rocheleau, 78
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-grandfather
It is with great sorrow that our family announces the passing of Roland Gerard Rocheleau of Westminster, who died on March 31, 2020 of kidney failure due to complications of congestive heart failure.
Roland was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on May 15, 1941, son of Leopold and Rolande (Desilets) Rocheleau. Sadly, Roland‘s mother died during childbirth, leaving Leopold with seven children under the age of 12 at home. Baby Roland went to live with his aunt and uncle, Germaine and Fred Dufresne and his cousin, Jeannine in Worcester, MA who provided him with a loving home. Roland would spend weekends with his father, brothers and sisters at the family home on 6th Street in Leominster, where his father ran his machine shop business out of his basement so he could be home with his children. Roland moved back to live with his father when he was 15.
Roland attended Saint Joseph Elementary School in Worcester and graduated from Notre Dame High School in Fitchburg where he was an honors student and participated in the science club. Roland attended Northeastern University majoring in accounting and served in the US Army National Guard. While on co-op at Foster-Grant in Leominster, Roland met the love of his life Sandra Remal. From the moment they met, they spent nearly every day together.
Roland and Sandie were married on September 21, 1963 at Saint Edward’s Catholic Church in Westminster, the same town where Roland and Sandie made their home and raised their four children, Lisa, Steven, Cathy and Daniel. Roland was very active in his community, starting in the early 1970s as a member of the Wyman Lake Association where he later served as president; Saint Edward’s August Festival Committee including longtime Chairman; Westminster Planning Board, where as Chairman he wrote the first Master Plan for the Town of Westminster. During the 1980s, he served on the Westminster Board of Selectmen. For his entire career, Roland worked at Rocheleau Tool & Die, the company his father started in the family basement, with his father, brothers and sister Irene, retiring as president in 2001. Before he retired, Roland was very proud to have worked alongside his four children and nephews, Jeff Rocheleau and Kevin and Rob Hastings, as business partners. Roland was an honest businessman and was famous for sealing a deal with a handshake. He also had a great knack for real estate, and his word was as good as his deed.
Roland and Sandie spent their retirement years wintering in the Florida Keys, where Roland was very involved in the San Pablo Catholic Church in Marathon and in numerous political campaigns. Roland was happiest spending time with his family, where almost every weekend was like a holiday. Roland treasured lobster bakes and boating in the summer and bonfires and snowmobile/sliding parties in the winter. Roland was an avid fisherman and loved sitting with Sandie playing Canasta.
Roland is survived by his one true love Sandie, his daughter, Lisa Rocheleau and her wife, Kathryn Littlepage of Westminster, his son, Steven Rocheleau and his wife Karla (Swedberg) of Westminster, his daughter, Cathy Rocheleau and her husband Richard Fairneny of the North End, Boston, and his son, Daniel Rocheleau and his wife Paula (Muscillo) of Westminster. Roland’s grandchildren, whom he loved watching in all their various musical and sporting events, are Paul Bourque, Allison Baker, Benjamin Bourque, Emily Babcock, Zachary Rocheleau, Kathryn Rocheleau, Kayla Rocheleau, Luke Rocheleau, and Justin Rocheleau. Roland’s great-grandchildren and the light in his heart are Ryan Babcock, Joshua Babcock, Charlotte Baker, Jackson Babcock and soon to be born Owen Baker. Roland also leaves his sisters, Irene Viau, Cecile Hastings, and Jeannine Ouellette, innumerable cousins, nieces, nephews and lifelong friends in both Massachusetts and Florida. Roland was predeceased by his parents, his brothers, Norman (Rocky), Gilles (Nicky) and Leo, as well as his sister, Jeannette DelleChiaie.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Roland’s funeral will be private. If you so choose, memorial donations can be made to Westminster Benefit Fund, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, PO Box 63, Westminster, MA 01473, a 501(c)3 non-profit. http://westminsternhn.org/
Please sign our online guestbook and leave Roland’s family a message.
The Westminster Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 123 Main Street, Westminster, MA 01473 has been entrusted with Roland’s funeral arrangements.
For further information see www.masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.net
John F. Masciarelli and Walter C. Taylor funeral directors
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