Roland C. “Rollie” Thomas


Roland C. “Rollie” Thomas, 90, of West Bend, passed away Sunday Nov. 22, 2009, at his home

He was born on Feb. 13, 1919, in Plymouth to the late Herman and Marie (nee Sasse) Thomas.  On Oct. 12, 1950, Roland was united in marriage to Heidi Heidemann at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Louis Corners.

Roland was a master plumber and electrician, and the co-owner of Thomas Bros. Implement Co. in Cleveland from 1948 to 1963. In 1963, Rollie and Heidi moved to West Bend and he worked for the City of West Bend as the city building inspector until his retirement in 1984. Rollie then served on the West Bend Board of Appeals for many years.

Roland was a 4H leader in Sheboygan County for 35 years. He was a volunteer fireman and assistant chief in Cleveland from 1948 to 1963.  Rollie was a member of the State Building Inspectors Association from 1963 to 1984, and president of the association in 1968. He was a member of the West Bend Noon Kiwanis Club from 1972 to 2009, and club president from 1984 to 1985. Roland was Lt. Governor of Wis. Upper Michigan District for Kiwanis from 1986 to 1987. Rollie received the Paul Hixon Award in 1997, which is Kiwanis’ highest honor. Heidi and Rollie also have spent many years giving their time and talent to the Ventures In People Project in Haiti.

He was an elder and the first lay president at Immanuel United Church of Christ in West Bend, and a member of the “Churchmen’s Chorus” at Peace United Church of Christ in Kewaskum, where he was currently a member. He enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, playing Scat and Sheepshead. He was always ready to lend a helping hand as a repairman for friends. Rollie enjoyed story telling and had a great sense of humor.  

Roland is survived by his wife, Heidi; five children, Mary (Roger Wong) Thomas of Milwaukee, Kathy Thomas of Milwaukee, Peter (Natasha) Thomas of West Bend, Mark (Cheryl) Thomas of Wadsworth, Ill., and Laura (James) Stevens of Oshkosh; eight grandchildren, Robert, Shannon, Brandon, Sara, Noel and Anna Thomas, Kara and Will Stevens; many other relatives and close friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Jacob Stevens; three brothers, Arno (Edna) Thomas, Herman Thomas and Allan Thomas; two sisters, Laura (Walter) Siegert, Alice (Frederick) Wedepohl; three sisters-in-law, Marian (Ted) Hansmann, Henrietta (the Rev. Ralph) Maschmeier, Marquerite (Karl) Wernecke; along with two brothers-in-law, William (Nancy) Heidemann, Frederick (Lucille) Heidemann.

Funeral services in remembrance of Roland will be held on Sunday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m., at Peace United Church of Christ, 343 First St., Kewaskum. The Rev. Eric Kirkegaard will officiate. Visitation will be at the Myrhum-Patten Funeral Home on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., and Sunday at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of service.   Burial will be held in Washington County Memorial Park on Monday at 11 a.m.

Memorials to Peace United Church of Christ or Cedar Community Hospice are appreciated by the family.

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