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Roland T. Romrell

1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences

Roland T Romrell, 91, of Idaho Falls, passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at his home, after wearing himself out in service to God, family and country.

Roland was born June 15, 1922, in Ogden, Utah, to Hyrum Romrell and Ruby Taylor Romrell. He was the youngest child with three sisters and one brother: Belva, Fern, Mildred, and Leonard.

Roland learned to work on the farm as a young boy herding cows, and caring for the horses and chickens. As he got older he helped raise and harvest hay, grain, peas and sugar beets. When he was 12 years old he got a job delivering the Deseret News. He rode a horse 10 miles to deliver 14 papers. He built the route to 48 papers and 13 miles. He saved his money and bought the first balloon tire bike that came into Ogden.

Roland attended Weber High School. These years were filled with fun school activities, summer hikes and many adventures. Roland was active in the FFA and was able to take a prize-winning steer to the Seattle World's Fair. Roland was blessed to learn welding at Weber College. With that skill he went to work at the shipyards in California. He was the youngest welder on the crew and always earned the top production records. He carefully saved his money and was able to make a down payment on a farm in Lewisville, Idaho, which he was able to pay for with his first potato harvest. During this time he met and fell in love with Joy Otteson.

Roland went back to Ogden and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After boot camp and basic training, they were ready to ship out overseas, but because of Roland's welding experience, he was sent to specialist school in blacksmithing. After completing that school, he had a furlough and was able to go home. At this time he and Joy were married and then sealed in the Logan, Utah, LDS Temple. Roland was then shipped out to rejoin his company, which was just returning from the battle of Palau. Most of the companies had only a few survivors. Roland's blessing to be sent to specialist training probably saved his life. During the battle for Okinawa, Roland repaired trucks, jeeps and water tankers, sometimes working around the clock.

After the war, Roland returned home and was able to sell his farm and purchase the Ammon Blacksmith Shop. The key to Roland's success was hard work and innovation. Along with the blacksmith shop, he and Joy ran a state-of-the-art egg business. As times changed, they were always ready to change, too. Roland was able to secure the distributorship for Harsh Hoists for Northern Utah and Idaho. He also built truck bodies, at first from lumber and then all steel. He built his business to the point that he had to expand the blacksmith shop. In 1958, Roland took on the dealership for Vista Liner Campers. With that success, Roland moved his business to a new location on the North Yellowstone Highway. He built a factory and designed and manufactured Freeway Campers. After this, Roland built a great retail business and sold mobile homes, recreational vehicles, boats, snow machines and chainsaws. Roland had great sales and earned many trips and traveled with Joy throughout the country and abroad.

Roland lived a life of service in the church and community. He worked for years on the Ammon City Council and served many years on the Bonneville School Board, where he was able to award all of his kids their graduation diplomas.

After retiring, Roland and Joy became snowbirds and spent over 20 winters in the home they built in Mesa, Ariz. They loved harvesting oranges, grapefruits and lemons and sharing them with friends and family in Idaho. While in Arizona, Roland had time to develop his woodworking talents. With Joy, he made hope chests and many other beautiful crafts and furniture for their home and their children.

All of Roland's work and service was dedicated to the support of his eternal sweetheart, Joy Otteson Romrell. Together they were blessed with 10 children, LarRene and Van Sargent, Brenda and Dan Knight, Eileen and Loren Anderson, LuDean and Maynard Jackson, Karleen and Jake Garling, Garth and Amy Romrell, Calvin and Kristie Romrell, Christine and Dale Hepworth, Janine and Jerry Sandbakken, and Valeen and Layne Terry. Roland is proud of his 56 grandchildren and forever prays for his growing posterity of over 106 great-grandchildren -- and counting.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 27, at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road. The family will visit with friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, both at Wood East Side. Burial will be in Ammon Cemetery. Military rites will be performed by the Bonneville County Veterans' Memorial Team and Idaho Honor Guard.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.

Published in Post Register on May 23, 2014
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