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Roland Edgar Desilets

Born: Wed., Dec. 14, 1921
Died: Thu., Jul. 5, 2012


Funeral Service

2:00 PM Thu., Jul. 12, 2012


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Roland Edgar Desilets passed away peacefully, Wednesday, July 5th, 2012 at the age of 90 years.
Roland was born December 14th, 1921, eight miles West of Sunnynook, Alberta, delivered by a midwife as often happened back in those days.  In 1931, at the age of nine, the family moved to Bonnyville where he attended school and completed grade eight.  At the age of sixteen, he was looking for work, jumping trains, resulting in a passion for the sound of the whistle blowing in the distance.  Roland would stop to listen to the whistle or would be heard saying to his grandchildren, “look, here comes a train.”  Marrying the love of his life, Laura LeBlanc, on January 26th, 1943, together they raised six children.  They lived in Bonnyville and Drumheller, eventually ending up at Gadsby in 1959 where they remained.  He loved to go fishing along with Laura and would load up their aluminum boat and head for one of many lakes in Alberta.  Roland farmed all of his life until he couldn’t see the swath of the hay any longer with his deteriorating vision.  But many stories were told of him with the team of horses going across Shooting Lake in the winter to get a load of hay in often frigid cold weather surrounded by the hay bales for shelter.  He would come back near frozen looking like a frosted snowman, allowing just enough time to warm up and then he’d be off to feed the cows.
Times could often be tough back in the early days, so he was proud to be the owner of each modern day piece of machinery he would acquire, but mostly his Case International Tractor and John Deere Bailer.  This was a huge step up from Laura bailing square bales while Roland rode the stooker.  Roland was known as a “hot” horseshoe player, often entering tournaments and walking away with a trophy, but he had to really pay attention to his game if he wanted a shot at beating Laura.  He definitely met his match with her!  The Handhills Stampede was also a passion of Roland and Laura’s, never missing any.  Packing up the family and a big picnic lunch, they would all go to the rodeo where many relatives attended and some even competed.  This was truly an event the whole family waited for every year.
Music was another passion of Roland’s, never missing the Grand Ole Opry and Don Messer on the radio on Friday nights.  All of the family would gather around to listen.  He loved to play the harmonica and was a great contributor to any family “jam” session.  He was an avid hockey fan, in the early years rooting for the Montreal Canadiens.  Later, he would finally come to his senses and became a huge Edmonton Oilers and Wayne Gretzky fan.  Always watching the games on TV, he was thrilled to experience a live Oilers game at Rexall Centre when we took him just a few years ago; a memory Roland always treasured.
Roland, as you go on in your journey of eternal life, the loved ones left behind will carry cherished memories
in their hearts forever, until we meet again.

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