Roald D. Tweet
1933 - 2020

Roald D. Tweet

September 1, 1933-November 4, 2020

Roald D. Tweet, 87, of Rock Island, passed away Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria. Private live-streamed funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020 and may be viewed at A drive through visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2020 at the Knox Chapel of Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 2106 7th Ave., Rock Island. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to WVIK radio or to St. John's Lutheran Church, Rock Island.

Roald was born September 1, 1933 in Fountain City, WI, a son of Reuben L. and Dorothy (Dahl) Tweet. He spent the majority of his childhood in Mountain Lake, MN. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1955 and received his doctorate in American literature from the University of Chicago in 1967. He married Margaret Knudson on June 16, 1957 in Hartland, Minnesota. Roald became a member of the Augustana English Department in 1960, and remained there until his retirement in 1999; he chaired the department from 1967 until 1984. In 1998, he was appointed to the Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities. He taught with a mischievous sense of humor that he had inherited from his father. Students called him "Doc."

In addition to his work in the English department, Roald served on the faculty for Augustana's graduate program in regional studies. He also served as the faculty advisor for the Observer and the Writer's Club. He taught travel writing on multiple Terms Abroad in South America, and he loved hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

After retiring, he and Margaret traveled to many countries overseas. The highlight of these travels was a small ship tour to Antarctica.

Roald wrote and spoke extensively about local history, the Mississippi River, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Quad Cities, including the 1996 book The Quad Cities: An American mosaic. Since October 1995, he had a short radio program called "Rock Island Lines" on WVIK, Augustana's National Public Radio station. Tweet was also a staff member of Mississippi Valley Writers Conference. Roald enjoyed model airplanes, gardening, whittling, wood carving and reading. He was a long time member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island. He loved spending time with his family.

Left to cherish his memory and his factually questionable stories are: his wife, Margaret; children, Randall D. (Anjel) Tweet, Rock Island, Jonathan M. Tweet, Seattle, WA and Gretchen S. (Patrick) O'Brien, Rock Island; grandchildren, Donna (Jason) Lough, Coal Valley, Roberta (Kevin) Smith, Norfolk, VA, Joshua (Tami) Tweet, Andalusia, Jackson Tweet, Rock Island, Tessa Tweet, Pasadena, CA, Kaitlyn, Elyse, and Emily O'Brien, all of Rock Island; 7 great-grandchildren; brother, David (Janice) Tweet, Eden Prairie, MN and many extended family members and dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Peter Tweet; daughter-in-law, Tracy Tweet; and infant grand-daughter, Megan O'Brien.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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Published by Quad-City Times on Nov. 18, 2020.
2:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Knox Chapel of Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
2106 7th Ave., Rock Island, IL 61201
Funeral services provided by:
Knox Chapel of Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
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2 Entries
Geraldine Bigott
November 12, 2020
This is for Margaret as we hold in mind the unique and special Roald. Although our paths did not cross in later years, memories of our St. Olaf days teaching together remain for me a very special joy. Please know that recalling those times still matter.
c. p.christianson
November 9, 2020