Cover photo for Warren Burdette Roland's Obituary
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Warren Burdette Roland

May 10, 1945 — February 16, 2023

Atlantic, Iowa

Warren Burdette Roland

At home and surrounded by the love of his family, Warren B. Roland, 77, of Atlantic, Iowa, saddled up and rode through Heaven's gates in a blaze of glory, the morning of Thursday, February 16, 2023.

 

The son of Burdette Leslie and Martha Elizabeth Linstrum Roland, Warren was born May 10, 1945, in Atlantic, Iowa, joining three older brothers, Jim, Keith & John.  He grew up on an acreage at the edge of Atlantic that eventually became surrounded by the town’s expansion.  The family kept several acres where they raised small crops, gardens, large and small animals and lots of fun; he always said it was “the best of both worlds.”  A new kid showed up in his Kindergarten class and Warren stuck his hand out to shake and introduced himself to Chris Dahl saying, “We’re going to be friends!”  They remained best buddies throughout school, their time at Maryville and “The Grandpa years.”

 

Warren, known in the Atlantic High School as “Spud,” graduated with the class of 1963.  He headed to Northwest Missouri State to work on a business degree and pursue a life of fun and travel.  While home on break during his first year of college, his brother Jim, a mortician working in the family business, was killed in an auto accident.  At the luncheon after Jim’s funeral, Warren felt it in his bones that he wanted to follow in their footsteps and told his dad that he wanted to apply for mortuary school.  He soon headed to University of Minnesota and finished the 18-month Mortuary Science program in 14 months and was an Iowa licensed funeral director for 52 years.  As a young man, he purchased the family business, Roland Funeral Service, where he was a funeral director for over 48 years before selling to his daughter, Heidi Hinman, several years ago.  He personally served a majority of the 13,000 families that Rolands have cared for.

 

Upon returning to Atlantic in 1966, he ran into Amy Jo Paul at the bowling alley, who had also come "back home” as a beautician.  One August night at the County Fair, they caught each other “looking back to see if [the other] was looking back . . .”  October 7, 1971, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa, they began 51 years of marriage.  Together, they raised six kids and were pioneers of homeschooling in Iowa.  Though “Plumfield” used various curriculums, he encouraged the kids to follow his high school yearbook motto, adapted from Mark Twain, “Never let your schooling interfere with your education.”  Good books, hands-on practical experience, music and art lessons and travel were significant factors and maybe a way he played out some of his own youthful dreams to be a “professional hobo” and explore the US.  He always said, “you can get anywhere from Atlantic, Iowa, but it’s a good place to come home to,” and at one point had adult kids living on four different continents to prove it.

 

Warren served in the Iowa Army National Guard.  He was a licensed pilot and loved his two little Cessna planes, using them for both business and pleasure.  Horses were a passion all of his life, from the time he had a pony in his childhood; for a few years he enjoyed a hobby farm with everything from ponies to draft horses.  Occasionally, a family he was serving at the funeral home would want a horse drawn hearse and of course he was thrilled to organize that!  One of those times, the hitch broke and the driver lost control of the horses at the cemetery; Warren was thrown and landed on his head. He immediately shook himself and jumping up said, “I’ve got to get up the hill – they have to have a licensed funeral director attend that burial!”  He later commented, “Well . . . that went off without a hitch!”  Warren had a servant’s heart through and through and over the years was part of Rotary (past president), Toastmasters, Kiwanis, Atlantic Community School Board and Iowa Home Educators Association.

 

In his mid-twenties, Warren read 1st Timothy 2:5, “. . . There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself up as a ransom for all . . .”  From that time, he began to enthusiastically embrace Jesus.  He even ran a small side business “The Bible Place,” selling Thompson Chain-Reference Bibles in order to share what he had found.  His faith settled in deeply and carried him through years of struggles and uncertainty as he dealt with health issues.  He was able to work through ups and downs with grace, the love of family, friends and community.  He worked hard to maintain his well-being in order to serve others professionally and with compassion, for as long as he did.  His spiritual journey was deepened by personal Bible study and the influences of the United Methodist Church, Church of God of Prophecy and Gracepoint Evangelical Free Church.

 

Remaining to carry on his legacy are his wife, Amy Jo Beth (Paul) Roland; sons, James (Heidi Sarah) Roland of Storm Lake, Iowa, Burdette (Jessica) Roland of Atlantic, and Spencer (Anna) Roland of Atlantic; daughters, Heidi Jo Beth (Larry) Hinman of Atlantic, Buffy (Ian) Barrs of Atlantic and Jo Beth (John) Lee of Tokyo, Japan; 22 grandkids; special family friends, Chris and Willa Dahl and Cindi Metzger; and many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

 

Warren is preceded in death by his parents, Burdette and Martha Roland; brothers Jim, Keith and John Roland; grandson, Hugh Barrs; and a number of other cherished family members.

 

Open visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday the 22nd and Thursday the 23rd at Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic, followed by visitation with family present from 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night, at the funeral home. 

 

A funeral service to celebrate his life, will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 24th at GracePoint Church with Pastor Don McLean and Pastor James Roland co-officiating.  The service will be recorded and available on the Roland Funeral Service website by Monday, February 27th.  Burial will be held at the Atlantic Cemetery following the service.  

 

Memorials may be made to the family for later designation, including Kiwanis Aktion Club and ReachGlobal of the Evangelical Free Church of America.  

 

Warren has had an incredible heritage from his ancestors and inspired his family and staff at Roland Funeral Service to carry that on with even greater passion.  Dignity for the deceased and care for their families is at the heart of all we do.  Roland Funeral Service is caring for Warren’s family and his arrangements.  Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Warren Burdette Roland, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Open Visitation

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

9:00am - 5:00 pm

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Open Visitation

Thursday, February 23, 2023

9:00am - 5:00 pm

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Visitation with Family Present

Thursday, February 23, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 24, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am

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Burial

Friday, February 24, 2023

Following the funeral service.

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