It is with profound sadness that the family of Roland (Rollie) George Reid announces his passing on Friday, September 2nd, 2022, at the age of 80 years, with family at his side. Rollie was born on September 9th, 1941, in the former Port Arthur, Ontario and is survived by his children Lynn and Debbie, grandchildren Sarah and Emma, brother George, sister Janet, and respective nieces and nephews. Rollie was predeceased by his wife and lifelong love, Lorraine Reid, parents Doris Armstrong, John Reid and brother Patrick Reid.
Rollie attended Algonquin Avenue and Prospect Public Schools, and the former Port Arthur Technical and Commercial High School (Hillcrest High School). In his early adult years, he forged a career at the former Great Lakes Paper Mill (Bowater) eventually becoming a lead machine tender within the Kraft Mill. When the opportunity arose, he took an early retirement and embraced over 20 years wintering in southern Florida and Texas with his beloved, Lorraine.
Rollie and Lorraine shared a deep bond throughout their 64 years together. They were passionate about creating a healthy quality of life together which included spending summers at the lake, staying active and enjoying nature. Rollie was very passionate about music and enjoyed singing at social functions in his youth. He and Lorraine met as teenagers, sharing long phone conversations during which Rollie would play Lorraine his favourite 45’s, in hopes of wooing her (it was the Elvis Presley 45’s that won her over).
Thus began their union of a lifetime, as well as Rollie’s lifelong music collection and an ever-expanding knowledge base of diverse American roots music genres including traditional country, bluegrass, southern heartland rock, Tex-Mex, rockabilly, Memphis soul and, most favourably, the blues. When Rollie discovered the smoking slide guitar and high energy music of Johnny Winter, he was hooked and became especially passionate about blues guitar artists and the roots blues music of the Mississippi Delta and became enthralled with Hill Country blues, especially the likes of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Rollie mentored his daughters in all he learned, making them endless amounts of music cassettes and CDs over the years.
Rollie loved live music, regularly attending live music events and, when possible, travelling to live music festivals. Highlights included seeing many music legends to having a memorable conversation with songwriter Guy Clark, at a Nashville Music Festival, to meeting Dick Dale, King of the Surfer guitar and, of course, watching Johnny Winter play live.
Rollie’s down to earth character was most memorable. He had a gift for putting anyone he met instantly at ease and effortlessly making them laugh, with his dry, often sarcastic, sense of humour. He made effort to uplift anyone he noticed struggling - offering genuine kindness and humorous insight. Like Lorraine, Rollie had a soft spot for animals and there never seemed to be a shortage of stray dogs who would find their way to their favourite place at the lake. He especially loved getting together with family and loved ones to listen to music, cook and eat well. He remained resilient, compassionate, and optimistic throughout his life, even in the toughest situations. Rollie will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
We thank the incredibly caring staff and medical team at Southbridge Pinewood for going over and above to help make Roland’s last year of life enjoyable and meaningful.
The interment of ashes will be private, attended by family members. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, September 24th from 11:00 to 1:00 pm at Blake Funeral Chapel. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society or charity of your choice.