Capt. Roland E. Respess, 73, of Port Arthur, passed away Thursday, September 26, 2013 at Cypress Glen Nursing and Rehab. Born on June 13th, 1940 in Baltimore, MD and reared on Gwynn's Island, VA. Roland was the son of Anna Mae Williams Respess and Louis Fredrick Respess. He graduated from Mathews High School in 1958 and attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, U.S. Naval Damage Control and Fire Fighting School, Baltimore Marine Navigation & Engineering School, U.S. Army Transportation Officer Candidate School, American Marine School and Captain Vans Navigation School. Roland also worked at Sun Oil as an ordinary seaman and able seaman. He worked for Texaco as a Second, Third and Chief Mate. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army in Vietnam with the rank of Captain. While working at Ingram Ocean Systems, INC., he received the US Coast Guard documentation for Master of Steam & Motor Vessels of any gross tonnage upon the ocean. He retired from Sabine Pilot in 2005 after serving 29 years as a Branch Pilot for the Sabine/Neches waterway. Capt. Roland is preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Laurie Graves Snell. Those left to cherish him is his wife of 48 years, Dolores Respess; his sons, Christian Respess of Los Angeles, CA, Blaine Graves of Bridge City; sisters, Phyllis Kraatz of Suffolk, VA, Marriot Riley of Richmond, VA, Andrea Clapp of Bryson City, NC; two grandchildren, Jerran Snell of Sugarland, TX and Jade Respess of Vidor. Roland was a lifetime member of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Water Fowl, Sertoma Club and a member of New York Marine Society. He was an avid hunter and loved teaching gun safety and bringing young people into the sport. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 1, at 11:00 a.m. at Clayton-Thompson Funeral Home in Groves with Rev. Sinclair Oubre officiating. Visitation with family and friends will be Monday, September 30, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to Port Arthur International Seafarers Center, P.O. Box 1646, Port Arthur, TX 77641.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2013