Obituary Listings

Roland R. Carlson

August 18, 1943 March 3, 2019
Roland R. Carlson
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Obituary for Roland R. Carlson

Roland Robert Carlson, 75, of Pana passed away at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, IL. The cause of death was complications from a heart attack he suffered on February 25th. He was born on August 18th, 1943, in Torrington, CT, to the late Andrew J. and Shirley (Britton) Carlson.

Roland graduated from Torrington High School in 1961 and received a BS in biology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, in 1965. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1967.

He married Rosemary Lacko, his high school sweetheart, on March 18th, 1967, in the Trinity College Chapel, and they had four children: three sons and, at last in 1980, a daughter. They were “Rolly” and “Ro” to one another, and to many family members and close friends.

Roland began his career as the Assistant Director at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, OH. From 1975 until 1991 he served in several roles at what would become the Western Reserve Care System of Youngstown, OH, first as the Administrator of Southside Hospital and then as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer overseeing Southside and two other hospitals.

In the 1990s he was the Chief Executive Officer of Rochelle Community Hospital in Rochelle, IL; and then Sandwich Community Hospital in Sandwich, IL. He became the President and CEO of Pana Community Hospital in 2000 and retired in 2012.

Despite his professional achievements and love for his work, Roland remained a child at heart. When his tie came off and his briefcase was set aside, he was happiest at play with his wife and children, and later his grandchildren. There were camping trips, family vacations across the United States and abroad, and multiple treks each year to visit relatives back in Connecticut, with the entire family packed into the station wagon or, later, the minivan. Roland was a passionate and competitive golfer, and some of his closest friends were his many golfing buddies. By the end of every summer his neck and arms were sunburned from hours on the course. Roland maintained a lifelong love of cowboys and horseback riding, owing to his childhood heroes: Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger. He enjoyed all types of games and puzzles, and played to win, but was filled with pride on the occasions when his children or grandchildren mastered the skills to beat him. Roland was a master conversationalist, who could find a common topic with any person he met, and even when the discussion veered into heated debates on spirituality, philosophy and politics, there was always a smile, a laugh and maybe a round of beers by the end.

Roland’s honesty, ethics and sense of responsibility profoundly influenced those who knew him, especially his family. He was generous in ways both large and small, selflessly gifting his time, money, and talents to the people in his life and the causes he believed in.

Roland was an active member of Rotary for over 40 years. He strongly believed in supporting and giving back to the community wherever he lived. He particularly enjoyed sponsoring foreign students to come to the U.S. to study through the Rotary Exchange Program.

Roland's abiding Christian faith informed his values and decisions throughout his life. He always tried to engage people in discussions about religion, so that he could share the Good News of the Gospel. He taught Sunday School for many years and served on various church boards and committees.

Roland is survived by his wife, Rosemary, of Pana, IL; their children: Andrew (Claudette) Carlson of Lakewood, CO, Erik (Erica) Carlson of Cranston, RI, Seth Carlson of New York, NY, Kristin (Devin) Becker of Moscow, ID; their grandchildren: Maxwell Carlson (a newly minted Marine Lance Corporal), Lucas Carlson, Ilsa Carlson, Agnes Becker and Wallace Becker; and by his brother, Richard (Jane) Carlson, of Tarpon Springs, FL.

A memorial service for Roland will be held on Friday, March 15, at 11 a.m. at Tower Hill Christian Church with Pastor Derrick Ritchie officiating. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church. Roland will be buried beside his parents in Torrington, CT, at a later date.

Memorials in Roland’s honor may be made to the Tower Hill Christian Church, Pana Community Hospital Foundation or Samaritan’s Purse and will be accepted by McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, who is assisting the family.

Local accommodations are available at Oak Terrace Resort. Please request rates for the Carlson Family. Contact Sam or Kelsey between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT: (800) 577-7598 or (217) 539-4477 - http://oakterraceresort.com.


Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

15

Mar

9:00 AM 3/15/2019 9:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/15/2019 11:00:00 AM
Tower Hill Christian Church

102 Ontario St.
Tower Hill, IL 62571

Tower Hill Christian Church
102 Ontario St. Tower Hill 62571 IL
United States

Service

Friday

15

Mar

11:00 AM 3/15/2019 11:00:00 AM
Tower Hill Christian Church

102 Ontario St.
Tower Hill, IL 62571

Tower Hill Christian Church
102 Ontario St. Tower Hill 62571 IL
United States
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