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Roland Rodrigues

Roland Rodrigues

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020
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Obituary

Rodrigues, Roland (Rollie) “Cuckoo” “Duck” “Coach”
October 17, 1941 to August 22, 2020

On the evening of August 22, 2020, Roland Rodrigues, 78 of Bristol, RI passed away in his home peacefully with his family. His fight was long and tough and he left his family and friends in remembrance of “thunder” ironically and magnificently passing to God during the exact time of a short, electrifying storm of thunder and lightning… And then the sunshine with a rainbow. That was the iconic Roland Rodrigues’ way.
Roland was born and raised in Bristol RI living a short time of his youth in Azores, Portugal. He was the son of Rosa (Mello) and Laureno Rodrigues Sr. and the brother of passed Laureno Jr., Edward and Abel Rodrigues.

Roland is survived by his wife who he was devoted to for 57 years, Sandra (Biancuzzo) Rodrigues; three loving children, Alison Arruda, Kyle Rodrigues and Sharon Rodrigues; five adoring grandchildren, Katelyn Arruda, Benjamin Arruda, Trevor King, Keiana Rodrigues, and Karissa Rodrigues; a great grandson Dylan Aguiar; a son-in-law Gregory Arruda and daughter-in-law Nelia Rodrigues; in-laws, many family pets which he considered immediate family; adored cousins, nieces and nephews(greats)- many in San Diego CA, and his God children along with an abundance of friends he truly treasured.
Roland attended Bristol’s Colt Memorial High School graduating in 1960. He was a legendary football player receiving All State, All-Star and honorable mention All American displaying his remarkable football skills as a running back and half back.
“The Lightening quick Rollie, also nick named “Duck for his unique footing while running, had led the Class C Division in 1959 leading the Colts to the Division Championship with a 7-0-1 record and his rushing and touchdown scoring was phenomenal”
“Never forget that 1959 Thanksgiving football game against arch rival Barrington Eagles when Rodrigues became the game hero leading the Colts to an amazing 7-6 triumph and his 78-yard touchdown run up the slide line with the winning score. This game is legendary and still talked about to this day”
Roland went on to further his education and athleticism first at Brewster Academy Preparatory School in Wolfeboro, NH and then to University of RI starring in Track and Football and socially engaged with his fraternity brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TEKE) and his football and track teammates.
After his college graduation in 1965 earning a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and Health Science, Roland began his 28 career years as a PE and Health Science teacher at Pittsfield, MA for a very short time and was quickly offered a position at Tiverton High School and then to Bristol High School where he remained. He dedicated his life to helping students become strong, inspired, and self-worthy. Although he was retired from teaching, he served for a total of forty years as a football, wrestling and baseball coach at Tiverton, Bristol and Mt. Hope High Schools.
Coaching was Roland’s great passion. His coaching philosophy mirrored his own style; hard work, conditioning, determination and enthusiasm. During this timeframe, his teams won four football championships and two wrestling championships and he has been prestigiously inducted into the Bristol Athletic Hall of Fame, The Tiverton High School Baseball Hall of Fame, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Hall of Fame, The Rhode Island Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Providence Grid Iron Club Hall of Fame. As well, Roland was highly recognized as one of RI’s best sports figures in “Sports Illustrated” edition of January year 2000.
Roland continued to work after retirement and support kids and the community in Bristol and Warren until his last days of life. He was employed at Roger William’s University Athletic Department, The Town of Bristol’s Harbor Control, Coordination of Mt. Hope High’s Wellness Center and assisted football coaches as needed for Pop Warner and Mt. Hope High School. Although he had a winter home with his wife in Naples, Florida, he spent much of his time attending and supporting educational and sporting events for all of his grandchildren and great grandchild. He was also dedicated to his faith and devotedly attended Holy Trinity Church in Tiverton, RI. Roland was an active member of the Elks Club Association and the Cup Defenders Association.
Rollie had his own hobbies too. He loved boating, clamming and quahogging, golfing, playing cards with his friends, volunteering with youth sports and mostly spending quality time with his family. If you knew Roland, he always loved a party and was constantly the life of it!!!
Roland Rodrigues should be remembered not only for his achievements but for the incredible role model he was to his family, friends and anyone who knew him. He had so many gifts and talents, but his personality was by far his best gift of all. He loved all people as his smile and ability to laugh with you and at himself made him someone everyone wanted to be close to. He was known for his competitiveness, true loyalty, funny sense of humor, respect, generosity, determination, strength, toughness, and genuinely having a kind, loving heart. He will be missed by all who knew him and always treasured by his family. He will want us all to remember him in great times and cherish all the stories he has shaped throughout the years.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a “Celebration of Life” on September 4, 2020 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and evening 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm with prayers and words of adoration at 5:00 pm. Face masks are required and social distancing enforced due to COVID regulations. Live streaming will be available.
SMITH FUNERAL and MEMORIAL SERVICES, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren, RI. www.wjsmithfh.com
A Mass of Holy Eucharist will be held for immediate family and close friends (80 attendees’ maximum in Church due to COVID) on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:00am; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; 1956 Main Road, Tiverton, RI. Face masks are required and social distancing enforced. Our family apologizes for a small Mass, but COVID procedures will not allow for large attendance. Live streaming will be available. Let it be known that there will be a magnificent celebration to remember Roland’s life when the climate of our world begins to open!

Flower arrangements/plants in Roland’s memory can be sent to Smith Funeral and Memorial Services prior the celebration. Donations in check form can be sent to Rhode Island Interscholastic Injury Fund; c/o Kathleen Kelly; 262 Abbot Run Valley Road; Cumberland RI 02866. Roland’s wishes are to value and honor children and their families in RI who play sports and greatly need financial assistance with sports injuries.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    September 4, 2020 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    When
    September 4, 2020 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Location
    Smith Funeral & Memorial Services
    Address
    8 Schoolhouse Road
    Warren, RI 02885
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Public Celebration of Life
  • Second Visitation

    September 4, 2020 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    When
    September 4, 2020 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Location
    Smith Funeral & Memorial Services
    Address
    8 Schoolhouse Road
    Warren, RI 02885
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Public Celebration of Life with prayers and words of adoration at 5:00 pm
  • Mass of Holy Eucharist

    September 5, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    September 5, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
    Address
    1956 Main Road
    Tiverton, RI 02885
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    The Mass of Holy Eucharist will be held for immediate family and close friends (80 attendees’ maximum in Church due to COVID). Face masks are required and social distancing enforced.

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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 05:20pm
To Sandra, Kyle, Alison, Sharon & Family, our sincerest condolences. To Coach, Thank you. Rico Topazio & Family
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Amy Cote, RN

Posted at 09:55am
Mr. Rodrigues was a pleasure to treat. Always inquisitive, always kind..always nice to see. With deepest sympathies, my thoughts and prayers are with the family. May he rest in God's peace.
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:38pm
We send you thoughts of comfort. Don & Marie Aguiar
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 11:59am
Our deepest condolences. You are all in our hearts and prayers. All our love, Jennifer Duffy Halloran and family
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Flowers were purchased and a memorial tree planted for the family of Roland Rodrigues. Send Flowers

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Mark Kalem

Posted at 03:45am
My deepest condolences. ~ Mark Kalen
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