Roland P. Bjorkman, age 89, broke the hearts of those he loved here when he returned home, Sunday, November 15th, 2020 passing peacefully into God's care surrounded by his family.
Dad was a consummate storyteller, a passionate, self-taught harmonica player, and the twinkle in his blue eyes was legendary. His smile lit up a room and his endless laughter was contagious. He was foremost a simple man, a gentleman, and always a kind man. He was slow to anger and quick to laugh. His beautiful sense of humor graced the lives and lifted the hearts and spirits of many. He made friends wherever he went.
Dad was born to Peter and Ellen (Gustafson) Bjorkman on September 12, 1931 in Boston, MA. A first generation American, he grew up in the manor section of Dedham. He was one of five children. He was preceded in death by his older brothers Walter R. and Vincent C., his twin sister Ruthie V. (Rogers) and his youngest sister, Shirley T. (Anderson).
Dad, and the love of his life, our mom, Betty L. (Hughes) were married on May 12, 1957 at the Sacred Heart Church in Roslindale. Together they celebrated life's triumphs and weathered life's storms. They settled in Foxboro where they raised their three children. Dad and mom were blessed with eight grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He missed his life long companion every day since her passing on November 24, 2018 after 61 years of marriage.
The sweetness of this man could have begun with his great love of candy and his particular fondness for "real" maple syrup which he faithfully had at every breakfast; his favorite breakfast being french toast with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream. Other loves included his years spent with his family on Lake Winnipesaukee captaining his boat and the joy he felt when his dream of owning his own second home on the lake came true. He was a historian with a particular interest in both World War II and the Civil War and could often be found at the Boyden Library in town.
Dad and mom never hung around their home at 177 Mechanic Street for too long as they could often be seen driving around listening to John Denver while making the rounds to Walmart, the Dollar Store, the senior center, various church suppers and yard sales, as well as to their favorite eateries the Cracker Barrel and the Commons restaurant. If they were at home, they could be found watching westerns together or, if Dad had his way, Fox News.
His Dunkin Donuts coffee drinking buddies were so important to our dad. Talking Politics and trading life stories, he gave the gift of friendship and it was returned ten fold. This inner circle of friends became a lifesaver for him after he lost our mom, and we thank each and every one of them.
Dad graduated Dedham High School in 1950 and served honorably in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War conflict spending time overseas in both Korea and Japan. As a young man, he was first employed by Royal Typewriter in Boston. This was followed by his work at the A.B. Dick Company in Waltham as a Service Technician; a job he held until his retirement.
Dad never lost his inner child. He was a kid at heart all the days of his life and an example to us all. Truly he was one in a million.
You are our sunshine Dad and your smile will be felt all the way from Heaven and will continue to keep us warm and light our own way home someday. We are so glad you were greeted by and took the hand of your precious Betty Boop as she led you forward into Heaven to a reunion with your grandson, Chad, your parents, your siblings, your mother-in-law, Mello, and many more family and friends gone before.
Treasuring his memory and loving him always are his daughter Linda and her husband Rick Hagan of Meredith, NH, his daughter Lisa and her husband Arthur (Chic) Holbrook of Uxbridge, and his son Paul Bjorkman and his wife Lynne of Mansfield. He was the best grampa to Brandon, Holly, Laura, Travis, Ashley, Hannah, Lindsey and the late Chad. Also a proud great grampa to Scarlett, Emma, Liam, Greer, Evelyn, Austin and Heath.
Following strict Covid-19 guideline, a mask must be worn at all times and social distancing will be enforced. A wake for family and friends will be held at the Roberts Funeral Home, 30 South Street Foxboro, from 1pm-2pm on Thursday, November 19 th. Burial will follow with full military honors in Rock Hill Cemetery, 81 South Street, Foxboro, MA. In you would like to leave an on line condolence please visit the funeral home website at www.robertsandsonsfuneralhome.com.
Donations in his name can be made to The Friends of Boyden Library, 10 Bird Street, Foxboro, MA 02035.