Richard E. Rolling, age, 81, peacefully passed away with wife, Andrea, at his side on the family farm outside Ivanhoe, Minnesota, Saturday, April 23, 2022. Memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, 2022 at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ivanhoe, MN. Visitation will be Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Ivanhoe, MN. Houseman Funeral Home, Birk Chapel in Canby, MN is entrusted with the arrangements.
Richard Edward Rolling was born at the Tyler hospital, November 30, 1940, Tyler, MN. The youngest of nine children born to Paul John and Alice Maude (Logue) Rolling, he always loved his siblings and was proud of their accomplishments. After the family purchased a farm in 1942, he moved from north of Arco, MN, to the current place, east of Ivanhoe, MN. From the spring of 1946 to 1950, Richard attended Prairie Valley Country School #47 a mile north and half-mile east of the family farm. He then attended Ivanhoe Public School, graduating in the class of ‘58. He was glad to maintain friendships with his classmates throughout life and in later years was a regular for coffee at Veire’s catching up and telling stories of those days gone by. Richard helped his parents operate the farm for a few years before attending the University of Minnesota – St. Paul Campus where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Soils and Plant Science in 1968. During undergrad, Richard met Andrea Christine Schmidt in the student center. Andrea said, “I was flipping burgers. He was pushing brooms.” Later in life they reconnected and married on October 30, 2004. It was probably life on the farm that instilled in Richard a life-long love for nature, science, learning and service. Upon college graduation, Richard was sworn into the United States Peace Corps. Following training in Bismarck, ND, he served as an Ag Extension Agent stationed in Machakos, Kenya, on Africa’s east coast. Richard valued the relationships he formed with local Kenyans and the international community of people around Machakos. They completed water projects and worked to improve vegetable production for the people. His Peace Corps friends admired “his unassuming, down to earth approach to life, which clearly continues even now.” In 1969 the group climbed the 5,895 meters to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Richard also played rugby at the Machakos Sports Club where he was known for being as good as the “Brits who had a bit more experience and speed.” Following a short tour of Europe and summer school, Richard returned home to spend his career working for the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. Science and work lead him to stations in Owatonna, Windom, Bemidji, and the Red Lake Indian Reservation in MN; Grand County, NM; Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; Jordan and Malta, MT; Perry, FL; and Crosby, ND. One hobby during these years was membership in a barber-shop choir. Like most of the Rollings, he could sing. After retirement in 1994, Richard settled back on the family farm outside Ivanhoe, MN. He worked on the family tree, tracing family ancestry and photographs back to Luxembourg and Ireland in the early 1800’s. Generations of family are so grateful for this treasure. Richard’s closest friends know him as a “walking encyclopedia.” He served on the Ivanhoe Library Board and probably read most books there two or three times. Richard liked travel, was an outdoorsman, hunter, painter, storyteller, poet, gardener, unofficial linguist and archeologist, and all-around good guy. He had a good sense of humor and was known for jokes including this one – “How do you know which tree is a Dogwood? By its bark.” He served in the Sustainable Farming Association and took an interest in organic farming. He was also proud of his adopted family, Theresa Shaffer of Glendive, MT, Christina Rainwater of Williston, ND, and Deanna Mitchell of Glendive, MT. Richard was grateful to all the medical, home health, hospice staff, family and friends who cared for him in his final days.
Richard is survived by his wife, Andrea, and her two daughters, Maren Fahl and Britta Fahl of Hannover, Germany, and sisters-in-law, Shirley Rolling and Betty Rolling. He is much loved by his nieces and great-nieces, nephews and great-nephews. Richard is preceded in death by his parents; siblings; Theodore, Alice Lipinski, Mary Ann Heins, Henry, Sister Cecilia Rolling, OSF, Joseph, Thomas, and Regina Fox. Richard helped each of these siblings at key moments of their life. He was their wingman. He prayed the Rosary often in his final days. May he have good hunting and may he rest in peace with Jesus, the Divine Mercy.