Roland P. Strehlow, 83


Roland P. Strehlow passed away peacefully at the age of 83 on Monday, April 29, 2013. He was the beloved husband of Loretta (nee Hertzberg); loving father of Steven (Carol); and dear grandfather of Austin and Elizabeth Strehlow. He is further survived by other relatives and friends.

“Rollie” was born in Wausau on Feb. 3, 1930, to loving parents, Paul Strehlow and Helen Strehlow (Glugla). He attended Wausau High School, a three-year high school at the time, from 1946 to 1948. He participated in four sports, football, boxing, hockey and track. During all three high school years, Rollie was an all conference halfback and led the conference in scoring and rushing. He was elected an all-state halfback in 1948. Among his other high school achievements were placing second at the state track meet in the 880 relay and becoming a heavyweight Golden Gloves boxing champion for three years while serving as team captain.

Rollie went on to play college football as a halfback for the Wisconsin Badgers in 1949, ’50 and ’51. He was a three-year letter winner and leading ground gainer for the Badgers in 1950. Rollie was selected as all-conference third team in 1951 and went on to play in the Blue-Gray game that year in Montgomery, Ala. He was the game-leading rusher and scored a touchdown in a 14-20 loss to the Gray.

After his successful college football career, Rollie returned to his hometown of Wausau to play semi-pro football for the Wausau Muskies and was the leading rusher for the team in 1952. He also played charity basketball with the Hardrocks.

Rollie went on to the professional level of football and signed on with the Dallas Texans in 1952. He graduated from Madison in 1953, married Loretta (Retta) Hertzberg, and two weeks later entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. He played Army football at Fort Eustis, Va., and was the leading rusher for the team in 1953. He was a coach and player for the Yokohama Yankees while serving in Japan and again was the leading rusher for the team in 1954. In 1955 Rollie was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

In 1955, Rollie had a tryout with the Baltimore Colts, formerly the Dallas Texans. Instead of staying on with the Colts, he pursued a teaching and coaching career back in Wisconsin at Waupun High School. He coached three sports at the high school, wrestling, football and track. Rollie started the wrestling program at Waupun and coached the team to the Little Ten conference championship for three years with a 27-8 record. In 1959, Rollie moved back to Madison to coach the freshman football team at the University of Wisconsin under Fred Jacoby. In 1960, Rollie was hired at Nicolet High School in Glendale and started their wrestling program that same year. By the next year, Rollie had recruited 79 wrestlers to his program. He was the only coach of the freshman, junior varsity and varsity for eight years. In 1962, he coached Jim Wolfe to a state championship and went on to take one or more wrestlers to the state championships for 16 years. During his coaching tenure, Rollie coached the Knights to two Braveland Conference championships, five regional championships and three sectional championships and won the Fond du Lac and West Bend invitational titles.

Rollie once stated, “I’ve always liked coaching wrestling best because of the wrestler’s commitment to training, weight control, and knowing his success was due only to his own talent, determination and dedication.”

During his 27 years at Nicolet High School, Rollie also taught physical education, driver’s education and coached varsity and freshman football. He was also head track timer for 20 years. Rollie never missed a day of coaching or teaching due to illness in 30 years. In 2011, Rollie was inducted in to the Nicolet High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

For the past 30 years, Rollie has resided in Cedarburg, with Retta, his wife of 60 years. He was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church and will be honored there on May 10, 2013, during a memorial service.

The family especially thanks Dr. John Burfeind and Dr. Ranveer Nand and the dedicated Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee campus and Horizon Hospice nurses and staff for their special care and kindness.

Memorials in Rollie’s name to Faith Lutheran Church or your choice are appreciated.

Please visit www.muellerfuneralhome.com to view a video tribute or send online condolences.

Visitation will be held at 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013, at Faith Lutheran Church, N35 W6621 Wilson Ave. Cedarburg. The service will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013, at Faith Lutheran Church, N35 W6621 Wilson Ave. Cedarburg.

Mueller Funeral Home & Crematory in Cedarburg assisted the family with arrangements.