Roland Thomas Wivoda

Born: Sun., Sep. 14, 1924
Died: Tue., Feb. 19, 2013


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., Mar. 01, 2013
Location: Dougherty Funeral Home

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Sat., Mar. 02, 2013
Location: First Presbyterian Church

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., Mar. 02, 2013
Location: First Presbyterian Church

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Roland Thomas Wivoda
Roland Thomas Wivoda, 88, of Hibbing, died Tuesday, February 19, 2013, during a brief stay at Heritage Manor in Chisholm.  
Roland was born September 14, 1924, in Goodland to Thomas and Mary (Calgaro) Wivoda.  He spent his childhood and formative years on the family farm in Goodland, eventually moving to a farm in Bengal/Silica.  He was drafted into the Navy in 1943 and served as an airplane mechanic in San Diego.  There he met the love of his life Betty May (Bennett) and they were married 65 years until her passing in 2010.  He attended college at Hibbing Junior College, University of Minnesota, and University of Minnesota Law School earning a Juris Doctor. He practiced law in Hibbing for many years while maintaining the family farm in Bengal.  After finding a guitar on an abandoned farm as a child, he became a dedicated musician and sang with a beautiful baritone voice.  Sad songs were always his favorite, and he could bring a tear to anyone’s eye with his version of “Old Shep”.
Roland was a dedicated family man, raising six children.  He taught all of us to respect others, have good humor, that hard work is honorable, to be curious, and to enjoy life.  He was an avid hunter and snowmobiler, and his skills at finding the right place in the middle of a swamp to have a campfire will never be matched.  He appreciated the beauty in nature and shared that with everyone around him.  
He is survived by his children Rhonda (Jim) Clark of Hibbing, Betty (Vic) Kylochko of Balkan, Roland Jr (Tracie) of Zimmerman, MN, Bill (Norma) of Fairbanks, AK, and Joe (Angie) of Hibbing; siblings Francis (Russell) Fuller of Fairbanks, AK, Maurice (Pat) Wivoda of Hibbing, and Gloris (Russell) Oikari of Balkan; a son-in-law, Randy Herrett of Hibbing; 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.  
Roland was preceded in death by his wife Betty May (Bennett); Parents Thomas and Mary (Calgaro) Wivoda; daughter Mary Ann Herrett of Hibbing; and grandson Randy “Higgins” Herrett.
Visitation will be Friday March 1, 2013, in Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing, from 5—7 PM and will continue on Saturday March 2, 2013, in First Presbyterian Church, Hibbing, from 10 AM until the 11 AM funeral service.  Interment will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Goodland, at a later date.  To leave an online message of condolence, please visit

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Colleen and Rich Dinter
   Posted Fri February 22, 2013
The world is not quite the same place without our parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

My parents (John and Lois Garvey) always spoke highly of your parents, from the time they were all at the University together. Wouldn't it have been fun to know them all then?! Colleen Garvey Dinter and Richard Dinter

Fran Fuller
   Posted Sat February 23, 2013
Thinking of you all. With love & prayers, Fran & Jamie

Jo Ann (Mackey) Johnson
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
Betty and Rhonda - I am sorry to hear your father passed away. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Jo Ann (Mackey) Johnson

Sheldon Fuller
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
Rol’s Song
By Shel Fuller

My mind rolls back to that summer long ago.
Memories I still hold close today.
I learned to drive a tractor, plant a few fence posts,
And that’s the year you showed me how to play.

I’d strum that big old Humming Bird ‘til my fingers bled.
D and F chords were the worst it seemed.
But I learned them all, and wrote a song, and that’s how it began,
And today those days are still a part of me.

Rol, you made that summer a great experience,
And you don’t know how proud it makes me feel.
To see those fence posts standing yet along the railroad grade,
And to know I helped to put them in with you.

And I remember tearing the headliner of your car,
And how you never made me feel the fool.
I can laugh about it now, but I felt so bad back then,
Thinking how I failed a friend like you.

The years roll by and it seems we don’t have much contact,
And I play “Old Shep” alone from time to time,
And think of you and Betty, and all the folks out there,
And think of all the happy days gone by.

Rol, you made that summer a great experience,
And you don’t know how proud it makes me feel.
To see those fence posts standing yet along the railroad grade,
And to know I helped to put them in with you.
I remember happy times with you.

In loving memorie,

Shel and Diane Fuller

Dan & Linda Blight
   Posted Mon February 25, 2013
So sorry to hear that your dad passed, Betty, you always spoke so fondly of him! Our sympathies to you & Vic and your family.

Lori Stavnes Leochner
   Posted Wed February 27, 2013
Another pillar of our community has passed. Many happy memories of time spent at Happy Lake with Ronda and Betty. Remember the childhood days of gathering at grandma and grandpa Wivodas and folks playing music (or jamming as we would call it today.) Learned to sing "Wooden Heart" back in the fifties as a 5 year old at that old farm. Also lots of 4-H memories.
My sympathy to the family.
Lori Stavnes Leochner

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