Roland P. “Rollie” Richards passed away November 7, 2016, at AngelsGrace Hospice of Oconomowoc at age 95. He was a longtime Waukesha County agent of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Farm Management Program (1956-1983).
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 56 years, Lonny; daughter Jean Winkel and son-in-law Steve; and grandchildren, Julia, Nicole and Ryan.
Three sisters and seven brothers preceded him in death.
He was born October 2, 1921, to Anna and John Richart of Sheboygan on a dairy farm in Calumet County. A veteran of the Army Air Force in WWII, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and education economics in 1950, following which he was an instructor at Fond du Lac Veteran-on-the-Farm Training under the federal G.I. bill that provided WWII veterans with an opportunity for additional education. From 1954 to 1956, he managed farms for absentee owners. After additional studies at the University of Arizona and Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin granted him a Master of Science degree and was promoted to full professor in the UW-Extension in 1974. He was president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraiser, the Wisconsin Extension Farm Management Agents, and the Waukesha County Conservation Alliance. He served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin County Agents Association and Extension’s Epsilon Sigma Phi Society. In 1970, he was recognized for his leadership in pesticide education by the Wisconsin Pest Control Conference Association. The National Association of Agricultural Agents awarded him its Distinguished Service Citation. He was a member of the Waukesha Rotary Club and the Alpha Gamma Roe agricultural fraternity for over 50 years. He traveled extensively, and met his wife in Berlin while working on his master’s thesis in 1959. He retired in 1983 after which time he conducted extensive research on his book, “Out of the Back Forty,” part family genealogy and part life experiences, which he completed in 1998. For five years, Rollie devoted all his time and energies to taking care of Lonny, until their caretaker moved into their home full time for the past 2 1/2 years.
Services will be held on December 4 at St. John’s of Merton, N67-W28322 Sussex Road, Hartland, WI 53029. Visitation will be from 13PM and a service with full military honors will follow at 3PM.
lieu of flowers, donations to AngelsGrace Hospice or St. John’s UCC
would be appreciated.