Major Roland Gillett finished his earthly race with perseverance on January 21, 2013 and joined his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Roland, was born on April 16, 1922, an Easter morning, at his grandmother's house in Springdale, Arkansas to Marie and Edgar Gillett. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, of 67 years. Roland has anticipated their reunion since the day she was called home.
Roland, a second lieutenant, in the Army Air Corps, during WWII was shot down in the battle of Ploesti and reported as MIA. With the aid of the Yugoslavian Partisan he was one of 6 that survived for 11 months uncaptured behind enemy lines. He was awarded the Purple Heart, a Distinguished Flying Cross and Presidential Citations. Upon his return he graduated with honors from Drury College with a B.A. in Economics where he was a Sigma Nu prior to the war.
Joan and Roland lived many places. Upon retirement in 1987 from Gearhart Industries, they settled in April Sound. At Gearhart he served as vice-president in charge of administration. He also managed a subsidiary company, Pengo Hydra Pull, that did high tension stringing.
Roland's hobbies were plentiful. He loved golfing, fishing, hunting with his grandchildren and having his friends over for a fish fry. By participating in booster clubs and church leadership, his example of parenting impacted many. He was selfless when it came to helping his friends and family.
The joy of his life was being a grandfather to 5. PaPaw loved them dearly and supported their sports and activities. He was their biggest fan and was proud of the adults they have become. Being a frequent supporter of Conroe Tiger football and baseball, he was a model grandparent to many!
PaPaw will be sorely missed by those who loved him! He is survived by his son, Mike Gillett and wife Sandy and their daughters, Kelley and husband Carl Loredo and Amy Gillett all of Plano. Roland is also survived by daughter, Carol and husband Howard Crockett of Conroe, and their children, daughter Jennifer and husband Jamison Smith of Houston, grandson Jon Crockett and wife Robin of Bristow, Virginia, and grandson Justin Crockett of Houston. Papaw is also survived by seven great grandchildren who were the apple of his eye.
Visitation, Wednesday, January 23, 6:00 to 8:00pm will be held at Metcalf Funeral Directors. A celebration of life service will be at First Baptist Church Conroe on Thursday, January 24, at 12:30. Interment to follow at Garden Park Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the loving, compassionate caregivers that are like a part of our family: Margie Carter, Evie Fulton and Cheryl Lavergne. We would also like to thank Heart to Heart Hospice, Dr. Howard Crockett and Dr. Gary Sharpless for their wonderful care.
Roland's favorite charities were the Montgomery County Food Bank and the Alzheimer's Association.