Friday, August 28, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Leader Dogs for the Blind
c/o Vicksburg Lions Club
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Selfless in all ways, Rollie Peach was a man of integrity who was known for his giving nature and hard working ways. Throughout his career, he taught many young lives on the heels of adulthood in many capacities, yet the greatest lesson he conveyed was by way of example. Highly respected, Rollie’s unending helpfulness and generous demeanor shone bright to all he encountered. He held fast to the ethics for which he believed, and stood as a strong and loving leader committed to the family entrusted to his care. Gone but never to be forgotten, Rollie leaves a lasting legacy all his own.
By 1935, life was greatly defined by the trials of the Great Depression. Throughout these tumultuous times, Americans forged on with lasting hope. Born on November 22, 1935 in the close knit city of Bangor, Michigan, Roland “Rollie” Peach was the first of two children born to his parents, Lloyd and Ruth (Swaninger) Peach. He was later joined by his younger brother, Russell. While his mother looked after their household as a homemaker, Rollie’s father supported their family as a rural route carrier for the U.S. Post Office.
Rollie enjoyed growing up in Bangor and all a small community had to offer. He experienced a childhood typical of his generation all while attending the local schools. In high school he was an active member of the basketball and football teams, and before graduating from Bangor High School in 1952, Rollie met the young woman who came to capture his heart, Shirley Woodley. He went on to further his education at Western Normal College, now known as Western Michigan University where he was involved with the ROTC program.
During the Korean War, Rollie left his schooling and sweetheart behind for a time to serve in the U.S. Army. After serving for two years, he returned home to Michigan and on November 7, 1959, just shy of his 24th birthday, Rollie and Shirley were happily married in Bangor. They began their new lives together, settling in Bangor where they soon welcomed the birth of their daughter, Cathy. Having returned to school, Rollie earned his Master’s Degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. Before long they were blessed with a son when Rich came along. In August of 1964, Rollie packed up his family and moved to Vicksburg, Michigan when he landed a teaching position at Vicksburg High School.
Through the years, Rollie taught chemistry and physics, and for many years also taught driver’s training. At one point he even taught his two children at the high school. He never made it any easier for them just because “Mr. Peach” was their father, and certainly never cut them any slack. Rollie went on to retire from Vicksburg High School in 1994. He was actively involved as a member of the Lion’s Club, and with retirement came more time for some of his hobbies.
Rollie was an avid fan of baseball and golf and did his share of playing both sports over the years. He enjoyed taking annual trips to Florida for the Detroit Tiger’s Spring training, and to take in the Daytona 500. Although his loyalty was to the Tigers, he also liked the Chicago Cubs, and was a Dale Earnhardt fan. Together Shirley & Rollie were active members in the Lions Club always looking forward to working the summer festival. When not volunteering Shirley & Rollie enjoyed weekend card games with neighbors and friends.
With many memories and through the years in between, it was an especially difficult time for Rollie when his beloved Shirley passed away in 1991. He kept himself busy with his hobbies and love of sports, but through the support of family and close friends, Rollie soon rediscovered the meaning of fully living again.
A few years following Shirley’s death, Rollie reconnected with a former acquaintance, Patricia Burrows. Patricia also lost a spouse at an early age, and before long she and Rollie found much more they shared in common. They made for the best of companions, and in one another they found great support which came to include an abiding love. They eventually married, and Rollie was honored to have Patricia’s adult children, Glen and Coleen as his stepchildren.
As a couple, Rollie and Patricia shared a love for travel. They traveled to exciting and memorable destinations including Egypt, England, Ireland, France, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Italy, and Mexico. As members of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, they helped out at the Food Pantry and putting together Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for those in need. They were very compatible, but Patricia liked puzzles, and Rollie didn’t which provided some interesting debates between them! For Rollie, reading was his passion and he did so often. He also liked riding his bike whenever he had the opportunity. For the last 12 years of their lives together, Rollie and Patricia lived in the Battle Creek area. Their children lived throughout the country, and whenever they were able to spend time with them and their grandchildren it included special times for all.
Ever generous and giving, Rollie was a hard working and selfless man who lived by his ethics and morals. A friendly sort, he was a great neighbor and friend to all. Rollie lived fully and completely at every opportunity, and for these things and so much more, he will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by those who called him husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, and friend.
Roland Peach, of Battle Creek and formerly of Vicksburg, passed away on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; two children: Cathy Peach of IL; Rich (Karen) Peach of CT; stepchildren: Glenn (Mary) Burrows of WI; Coleen Cloward of IA; eight grandchildren: Casey, Nicole, Isaac, Jacob, Karen, Anna, Alan, Paul. He is also survived by his brother, Russell (Gail) Peach of MA. Roland was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley in 1991.
Roland’s family will receive friends on Friday from 4-7pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). Please visit his webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can view Rollie’s Life Story film, sign his guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make a memorial contribution to the Leader Dogs for the Blind c/o Vicksburg Lion’s Club, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, and/or The Parkinson’s Foundation.