Roland Ralph Springgate, MD, age 85, of Kalamazoo, MI passed away peacefully at home on February 4, 2017 with family at his side. He was born to Clyde and Alma (Patton) Springgate in New Haven, Missouri on July 21, 1931. The youngest of 5 children, his Depression era childhood was filled with sports, hijinks and activities he loved: farming, truck driving, and working. That work ethic carried into his college years when he found many clever and entrepreneurial ways to fund his undergraduate and medical school education at the University of Missouri (or as he would say Mizzoo-ra!). Roland was blessed with the love of two wonderful women. In college he met his future wife, Marjorie (Willis) Springgate. They were together over 60 years until her death in 2013. The light came back into his eyes in 2014 when he found love again with Judy Harris. He was cherished by his children: Susan Springgate, Stephen Springgate (Vanessa Adams), David Springgate, Nancy Springgate Kushner (Pete Kushner), Scott (Debbie) Springgate, Donald (Kathy) DeLong, the entire Culver clan, and by his grandchildren: Anna Kushner; Madison, Sterling, Wendy, Jack and Scout Springgate; Eiren (Mike) Hendrie; Kristin (Scott) Davison; and RJ and Colin DeLong. After his residency at Wayne General in Detroit, he began his medical practice in Kalamazoo in 1961. Roland's practice grew from internal medicine to a rheumatology specialty when he became the first board certified rheumatologist in western Michigan. He adored serving his patients and working with his coworkers at Kalamazoo Rheumatology. He was a national leader, speaker and educator on arthritis/rheumatism and participated in many drug studies leading to emerging pharmaceuticals, including ibuprofen. With a small group of local physicians, Roland started the medical education program in Kalamazoo in the early 1970s. The program evolved into MSU/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies which merged into WMU Homer Stryker Medical School. He recruited the first classes of interns/residents and continued medical training for every class until his retirement in 2002. He remained active in planning and providing local physician medical education until his death. He served as Chief of Staff for Borgess in the mid 1970s. When his children were diagnosed with dyslexia, he and Marge helped cofound the Specialized Language Disability Center (now SLD Read). He served on the board of directors for Visiting Nurses Association, Douglass Community Center and SLD Read. After retirement, he volunteered weekly at the First Presbyterian Free Clinic and made several medical missions to Honduras. Roland shared a love of sports both as a player and a fan. He played baseball in high school but his true passion was basketball which he played in high school, college and on a semi pro team. As an adult, his love of sports were expressed in: tennis, racquetball, paddleball, skiing and golf. He was an avid WMU and University of Michigan fan, rarely missing hockey or basketball games in Kalamazoo or football games in Ann Arbor. He was the team doctor for Hackett football and hockey 1976-1985 and loved second guessing his friend, Coach Dick Soisson. He enjoyed attending the sporting events of his children, grandchildren, and numerous "adopted" grandchildren. In retirement, Roland kept busy with farming, playing bridge, golfing, and volunteering. He recently developed a one man show playing Dr. Homer Stryker, which he performed for WMU's Osher Institute and on the "nursing home circuit". It's hard to capture the essence of Roland. His most enduring quality was to drop what he was doing whenever a friend, a coworker, his family, a neighbor or a patient needed to talk because people were his first priority. He made everyone feel wanted, needed and loved. He always had a twinkle in his eye, a smile on his face, and a positive attitude. People were drawn to him. He was a master story teller because he loved listening to everyone else's story. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved playing pranks and being the recipient of pranks. His "official" letters were always a treat to those who received them. You can honor him by living his core values: enjoying your work and play, loving those around you dearly, and taking care of others. The family would like to thank his many friends for sharing stories about how he touched their lives. Memorial contributions to Springgate Family Fund at Kalamazoo Community Foundation (www.kalfound.org) will continue his legacy of philanthropy in Kalamazoo.