lucky you - your browser doesnt play annoying midis

06/20/20 - NNHS Newsletter - Rollie Hamel

Roland Joseph Hamel, Jr.
(27 Nov 1948 - 19 June 2020)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   I'm quite distraught to bring you this sad news today.  Rollie Hamel, Cutest Boy in the Class of 1966, passed away in Surprise, Arizona on Friday, June 19, 2020 at the age of 71.

   He was the brother of Mary Hamel Whitlock of SC, and of the late Barbara Hamel Flynn (St. Vincent Central HS - '64) (d. 05 Oct 2010).

   On a personal note, I had reconnected with Rollie on Facebook exactly three months to the day before he died, and was delighted to find him the same funny, sweet, and adorable soul I'd known all those years before.

From Dignity Memorial - 06/20/20:

    Roland Joseph Hamel, Jr.
    SURPRISE, AZ - On June 19, 2020, Roland passed away at age 71 and was taken to his everlasting home.

He was born in Newport News, Virginia, and lived in Arizona since 1974.

He is survived by his wife, Carol and sons, Zachary, Jeremy and his wife Michael Anne, and Joshua, and step daughter, Meghan and four grandchildren, Winter Elizabeth, Abigail Wilder, Emery Anne, and Addison Holt.

He has one surviving sister, Mary Whitlock of Columbia, South Carolina, and was preceded in death by his sister, Barbara Flynn of Williamsburg, VA.

Roland's working career was involved in the Banking field, and he retired from the FDIC in 2014.

He was honored to serve proudly as a rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam with the USAF.

He was equally proud to be a Virginia Tech Hokie graduate.

His faith was centered in his love of family and his personal belief that kindness to other enriched him personally.

Roland asked for no expressions of sympathy but to ask for others to do an unexpected good deed to another less fortunate in his memory in lieu of flowers or expressions of grief.

Published in Dignity Memorial on June 20, 2020.
View Guest Book


June 22, 2020

I worked with Roland for several years when he was a bank examiner for the AZ DFI and the FDIC. Roland was an exceptional man and was truly one of the "great" guys that I have ever worked with. He was not only smart and totally capable, but he was extremely personable and humble. He was one of the funniest people I ever knew. He raised the spirits of everyone around him, and he truly made coming to work each day fun! Because of his humor, personality, and quick wit, he was always our "go-to" MC for our annual holiday party and gift exchange, and he was always brilliant. He had everyone laughing the whole time, and after he retired, we were never able to replicate that gift exchange experience. Roland - you will be greatly missed, and thank you for blessing our lives with your incredible presence!

~ Aaron Standage

June 22, 2020
Roland was a dear friend from high school in Newport News, VA. He always had a smile for everyone and was genuinely loved by his classmates. On our Alumni Facebook page there have been over 150 comments or reactions to his death. My prayers are with the family as you adjust to life without Roland physically there. He will always be in your heart.

Jeanette McDonald Hornsby

June 23, 2020
Rollie, I was saddened to learn of your passing. You were a wonderful friend who always made those of us fortunate enough to spend time with you feel better about life in general. I am sorry we did not live closer and sorry our respective careers took us around the world. I remember when I called you and kidded you about being a hero on the internet. In typical modesty, you said someone had read it and told you about it. Flying search and rescue was obviously dangerous, and you did it saving lives in the process. Your professional career in banking was also an opportunity to make a difference in people's lives, and you did so while taking care of your family. You are missed, but save room for a lot of your fellow members of the NNHS Typhoon Family as well as your Hokie Nation. God Bless my friend.

~ Bob Kenney
June 23, 2020 

Condolences to Rollie's family members. He was truly "one of a kind" and will be sorely missed by many. Chuck and I will continue to cherish our memories of our fun times with Rollie.

Rollie - We know you will be looking down upon us from Heaven, and smiling that beautiful smile which we will never forget.

Rest in Peace... Love, Marilyn and Chuck Springfield
~ Marilyn and Chuck Springfield

June 23, 2020 
I remember a very nice, cute young man in high school. He developed into a special man.
My heart aches for his family as a precious life is lost to them. I pray they are comforted by many wonderful memories.
God bless you all.

Judy and Jerry Allen
Fellow Typhoons

~ Judy and Jerry Allen

June 23, 2020   
How blessed we all were to know Rollie and to call him our friend. He always had a smile and kind word for everyone and could brighten your day with his quirky sense of humor.
My condolences to his family. I hope your memories will lift you up in your time of sorrow.
Our Typhoon family lost a great member!

~ Bev Miller Sledge

June 23, 2020 
Rollie ~ What wonderful memories I have of our friendship throughout high school. Your adorable smile and sweet personality will never be forgotten. How lucky we were to be friends and share special times at NNHS and during the summers in between. I know your dear family will miss you so very much.

~ Ramona Carneal Harrison

June 24, 2020   
Roland is remembered very fondly by his Va Tech Pi Kappa Brothers.

~ Dave McNamara
June 24, 2020   
I am so sorry for your loss. I went to Saint Vincent's School with Roland from the first grade until he went to NNHS. I have the class picture when we made our First Holy Communion. Roland looked so sweet in his white suit; we were about 7 years old. My prayers are with your family. God bless Roland.

~ Patricia Eken Miller

June 24, 2020  
To Rollie痴 family: You have lost a great person, but only temporarily. You will see him again, as we all will. Rollie痴 disposition was as great as anyone痴 I ever met. Always a smile and kind word for everyone he crossed paths with. GOD bless your soul Rollie.

~ Woody Wagner

June 28, 2020 


June 28, 2020



  Our deepest sympathies are extended to Rollie's family, friends, and classmates at this difficult time.

   This information is also posted here:

  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

What Wondrous Love Is This?

Words by Alexander Means
Music by William Walker, 1835

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God痴 righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great 'I Am';
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I知 free, I値l sing on, I値l sing on;
And when from death I知 free, I値l sing on.
And when from death I知 free, I値l sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I値l sing on, I値l sing on;
And through eternity, I値l sing on.

"What Wondrous Love Is This?" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 05/21/07

Image of "Christ Carries His Cross" Painting courtesy of - 11/17/06

Animated Air Force Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2020

Return to NNHS Class of 1965