Roland Thomas Wivoda

Navy Badge
  • Name: Roland Thomas Wivoda
  • Location of Birth: Goodland, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 14, 1924
  • Date of Death: February 19, 2013 (88 years old)
  • Parents: Thomas Wivoda and Mary (Calgaro) Wivoda
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  • College: Hibbing Junior College, Hibbing, Minnesota
    University of Minnesota
    University of Minnesota Law School - earning a Juris Doctor
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  • Branch: Navy
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  • Military Highlights:
    Roland was drafted into the Navy in 1943, and served as an airplane mechanic in San Diego, California.

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  • Civilian Life:
    Roland spent his childhood and formative years on the family farm in Goodland, Minnesota, eventually moving to a farm in Bengal/Silica (unincorporated community in St. Louis County, immediately south of Hibbing, Minnesota).

    In San Diego, California, Roland met the love of his life, Betty May (Bennett) and they were married 65 years until her passing in 2010.

    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 them all 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, Betty (Vic) Kylochko, Roland, Jr. (Tracie), Bill (Norma), Joe (Angie); siblings Francis (Russell) Fuller, Maurice (Pat) Wivoda, and Gloris (Russell) Oikari; a son-in-law, Randy Herrett; fifteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

    He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty May; parents, Thomas and Mary Wivoda; daughter, Mary Ann Herrett; and grandson, Randy "Higgins" Herrett.

    Roland died at Heritage Manor in Chisholm, Minnesota and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery at Goodland, Minnesota. (no picture of grave marker available at this time)

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