John William Rollins Jr.

John William Rollins Jr.

John William Rollins Jr. passed away at his home in Santa Fe, NM on July 3, 2013. He was 71.

A Delaware businessman for most of his life, Mr. Rollins received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and Finance from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from Northwestern University in 1965. After one year in New York City with the Registrar & Transfer Co., Mr. Rollins returned to Delaware to become Director, then President of Rollins Truck Leasing Corp. (RLC), a company founded by his father, the late John W. Rollins Sr. This marked the beginning of a long and distinguished business career where he held numerous senior positions for many family run businesses, including Chairman of the Board of Matlack, Inc., a bulk transport company, Senior Vice Chairman of the Board of Rollins Environmental Services Inc., and founding member of the Boards of Directors of Dover Motorsports, Inc. and Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., all Delaware companies which he helped take public and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Of all of his professional responsibilities, however, he was always proudest of his accomplishments as President and CEO of Rollins Truck Leasing Corp, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. He devoted most of his professional life to growing the company and was the driving force in transforming what began as a small auto leasing operation into the nation's third-largest truck rental and leasing company, employing 4,300 individuals and servicing more than 50,000 vehicles from 267 branch locations throughout the United States. During this time, he made a point to visit all of the company's locations on a regular basis, knew many of his employees personally, and went to great lengths to provide the best possible benefits for his employees, long after many companies had given them up. He was strengthened daily by the devotion and loyalty of every Rollins employee, and took great pride in embodying the company precept, "At Rollins, we do what we say we're going to do." Mr. Rollins also served on President Nixon's Economic Advisory Council, was a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), and served on the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University from 1988-1995.

In addition to his professional life, he had many personal passions.

He was a devoted family man. His commitment to serving his family was ever present and he dedicated much of his life to helping not only his immediate family, whom he adored, but also his cousins and extended family with whom he remained very close. He was always there when you needed him.

Having grown up in Lewes, Delaware, he developed a love for the sea at an early age. He became an avid salt water fisherman and spent many years owning and restoring custom Rybovich sport fishing boats. During his retirement, he sought refuge travelling on his boat with family and friends from the coast of Maine to Mexico and many, many points in between. He became well known in the sport-fishing community and developed deep and long-lasting friendships with other custom boat owners and members of the Rybovich family.

Mr. Rollins also had a passion for the arts. He was a bluegrass musician early in life and became a long time collector of Martin guitars. His love of opera and classical music took him around the world in pursuit of the performers, festivals and music he loved deeply. Most recently, he was an active supporter of the Santa Fe Opera Company.

He touched the lives of many and will be dearly missed by his family, friends and numerous colleagues from the Rollins businesses.

Mr. Rollins was predeceased by his father, John W. Rollins Sr., his mother Katharine J. Muir, and his brother James E. Rollins. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Diana Dukes Rollins, their two children, John W. Rollins III (Carin), and Fontayne Rollins Fox (Stephen), and four grandchildren, Davitt R. Fox, Ryan B. Fox, Tinsley G. Rollins and John W. Rollins IV. He is also survived by his brothers Patrick E. Rollins (Faye) of Houston, TX, Ted W. Rollins (Holly) of Greenville, SC, Jeffrey W. Rollins (Kim) of Wilmington, Michael M. Rollins (Caroline) of Wilmington, Marc M. Rollins (Ashlee) of Wilmington, and sisters Catherine Rollins Searby (Dan) of San Francisco, CA, Michele M. Rollins II of Wilmington, and Monique Rollins (Marco) of Florence, Italy, and nine nieces and nephews. Also dear to him were his beloved first cousins, Randall (Peggy) and Gary Rollins of Atlanta, stepmother Michele M. Rollins, niece Jamie Rollins Flynn, and their families.

Friends and family are invited to join a celebration of the life of John W. Rollins Jr. at the Wilmington Country Club on Saturday, July 20, at 10 am. Thoughts and condolences can be shared with the Rollins Family online at:

Published in The News Journal from July 8 to July 14, 2013