Hartford Courant Obituary August 16, 2018
Roland A. Roy, 74, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 13th 2018, at his home. Love for "his girls" was the center of his life, Phyllis his adoring wife for 45 years, and his daughters Nicole Kimball (Andrew), Lauren Roy, and Jessica O'Leary (the late Jay), Grandchildren Max, Donatella, and Julianna O'Leary and Georgia, Magnolia, and Cordelia Kimball. He is also survived by his brothers Raymond, Lebanon, Rene, South Windsor, Cyril, East Hartford, Ron, Glastonbury and his sisters Irene Rempel, South Windsor, June Trosclair, FL and Linda Donlon, Cromwell, and numerous multi-generational nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters Margaret Loalbo, East Hartford and Henrietta Meunier, Enfield. Roland was known for his big heart, quiet disposition, and generosity of spirit. He was a kind man who spent his adult life volunteering for United States Amateur Boxing (USA Boxing). He was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013 after spending 20 years as the President of USA Boxing in Connecticut and 12 years as the Northeast Region Junior Olympic Chairperson. Beyond boxing he had a lifelong fondness for fishing, especially with his brother, Ron and horse racing. He will be remembered by his Grandchildren for making all their time spent together wonderful fun. Roland was raised in East Hartford and lived most of his life in Glastonbury, where he was a foundation contractor for forty-five years as the owner of Glastonbury Concrete and Construction. In 1980 he opened the popular Glastonbury restaurant, Gordie's Place with Gordie Howe. Roland was a veteran of the US Army. Roland lived a huge life in a quiet, unassuming manner and will be missed by all who knew him and his warm and smiling eyes. There will be a funeral Mass for Roland held at 10 AM at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church, 285 Church Street in Hartford on Monday, August 20. Burial will be private and there will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to USA Boxing CT, 34 Carpenter Lane, Bloomfield, CT 06002.
Published in The Hartford Courant on Aug. 16, 2018
A Tribute from USA Boxing:
Roland Roy 1944-2018
One of the giants of USA Boxing CT and amateur boxing nationally, Roland Roy, passed away on August 13, 2018. He left an extensive legacy that began with his loving family and large circle of friends, and extended to his loyal employees, and appreciative colleagues. He cultivated potential and inspired achievement. He was a leader of uncommon stature and grace.
Roland Roy was a practitioner of the “sweet science” well beyond the ring. A non-boxer himself, he gravitated toward the subtle features of the sport, those inherent in the complex web of interpersonal relationships that went beyond the fisticuffs. This was the bigger arena, where his own personal qualities meshed with the needs of the participants, their families and the organization he was instrumental in building. Those that knew him well explain that the key to his success boiled down to one word – respect. He understood very well that respect breeds respect and that energy builds organizations.
Boxing is a tough business, those close to the sport all agree. But Roland navigated the myriad challenges of amateur boxing with unusual dexterity. There were the disgruntled corner men, the anxious parents and the impressionable young boxers. The referees and judges to train and mentor. The fiercely competitive crowd in all corners. But Roland’s command of the nuances of interpersonal relationships and the power of respect had the effect of melting confrontations and bringing out the best in people.
Friends point out that Roland was a master of the fine points of negotiation, a skill that had considerable impact on the very successful development of USA Boxing CT. He mentored refs and judges with constructive criticism and an ample dose of encouragement. Less visible, but equally important, were the small things he brought to the sport. “He used to run gloves with the kids,” a friend observed. “He made friends with so many in the process. He patted them on the back. And he made a point to know everyone’s name. He showed respect and got it back in bunches. That was Roland’s way. It’s what made him so special and so effective.”
Roland Roy served as the president of USA Boxing CT for 20 years and he was inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. His personal charm and interpersonal skills also made him an indispensable part of the national organization in which he was a vigorous participant. He was a valued part of public service groups too numerous to list here. But Roland is perhaps best known for his rare talent at taking the “sweet science’ well beyond the ring. And for that we are all better for having known him.
Written by Robert Pawlowski.
CT Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Plaque:
When it comes to amateur boxing in Connecticut, the first name that comes to mind is Roland Roy. The Glastonbury native was the president of USA Boxing in Connecticut for nearly 20 years. He remains the president of USA Boxing Region I, which includes all of New England and metro New York. Roy is also the coordinator for the Junior Olympics in the Northeast Region. Roy has worked with the US Olympic committee for the past 16 years to further Olympic style boxing. An original board member for the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, Roy has been heavily involved in the yearly CBHOF selection of the Amateur Fighter of the Year. Roy’s efforts are among the reasons that amateur boxing is alive and well in Connecticut. Whether it’s an amateur card in Enfield or Norwalk, Roy will likely be there. He’s never been a stay-at-home type of president.