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DR. ALFRED BROOKS ROLLINS JR. - NORFOLK, Va. - Dr. Alfred Brooks Rollins Jr., born May 28, 1921, in Presque Isle, Maine, to Clarissa (Jack) and Alfred B. Rollins Sr., died Feb. 20, 2013, in Norfolk, Va., at the age of 91. He was the cherished husband of Helen Jones since 1981. He is survived by children, John D. Rollins (Debbie) of Cheshire, Conn., James S. Rollins (Cynthia Van Zandt) of Portsmouth, N.H., and Nancy J. Rowell (Willard) of Highgate, Vt.; grandsons, Daniel Rollins (Allison Burr), Andrew Rollins (Lauren), and Scott Rollins (Caitlin); two granddaughters, Hannah Van Zandt Rollins, and Elizabeth Rowell (Andrew Porwitzky); great-grandchild, Xavier; sister, Marjorie Myer (Robert) of Florence, Ky.; half brothers, Christopher and Richard Rollins of Florida; four nieces and one nephew; and sister-in-law, Mary Burkhart, and nephew, Harry Burkhart, of Pennsylvania. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ernestine McMullin in 1972; and his second wife, Faith Kenyon Prior in 1979. Al grew up in Hartford, Conn., and graduated with honors from Hartford High. His college career was launched at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Upon graduation in 1942, Al enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a private and served in the 450th Bomb Group, 720th Bomb Squadron in Manduria, Italy. He was honorably discharged from the service as First Lieutenant, after 50 successful missions. Our country's first black army pilots flew cover for these missions, and Al appreciated just how well they did their job. For his valor, Al received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four clusters. He returned to Wesleyan after the war, and received an M.A. in History in 1946. He continued his graduate education at Harvard University and received a Ph.D. in 1948. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Chi Psi. Al began his lifetime of teaching as an Instructor at New Paltz State Teachers College in l948, and was a full professor when he left in 1963. In 1963, he became Chair of the History Department at SUNY at Binghamton. In 1967, he moved to the University of Vermont as a Professor, and soon became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences then Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1976, he arrived at Old Dominion University as the University President and led the university until 1985. He left the Presidency in 1985 and returned to teaching history at ODU, until he retired in 1991. A memorial service will be held at Old Dominion University, Webb Center, on Friday, March 8, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. Burial will take place later this spring in Al's family cemetery in Conway, N.H. Online condolences may be sent to the family at In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to a ; or the ODU Alfred B. Rollins Jr. Scholarship Fund for Minority Students, Attn: University Scholarship Coordinator, Office of Student Financial Aid, Old Dominion University, 121 Alfred B. Rollins Jr. Hall, Norfolk, VA 23529-0052.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 2, 2013
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