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"Coach" R. Henry RolandMarch 19, 1941 ~ July 17, 2017 (age 76)
Coach Robert Henry Roland, 76, of Okmulgee, stepped off the court for the last time, passing away from this life after his long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease on July 17, 2017 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma surrounded by his family.
Henry was born in Henryetta on March 19, 1941 to Marceau and Louise Roland. He grew up and attended Schulter High School where he excelled in basketball and in the classroom where he attained perfect attendance for his entire school career. He attended Connors State College on a basketball scholarship, attaining his Associate’s Degree while starting on
the basketball team the 2 years he attended. He then transferred to East Central University where he completed his studies to become a highschool basketball coach and math, science & history teacher. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from East Central University and a attended Post Graduate Doctoral work at Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, East Central University, Northeastern State University and the University of Tulsa.
Henry coached at three different schools - Sasakwa, Konawa and Beggs - and carried home 7 State Championships in his illustrious 39 year career. At his first school, Sasakwa, he won back-to-back State Championships in 1972 & 1973; at Konawa, he guided the Tigers to the1980 State Championship, a team that included his son Randy; and at Beggs, he directed two different back-to-back State Championship runs, the first two in 1990 & 1991, the 3rd and 4th in 1993 & 1994. He ranks second in Oklahoma Boys Basketball History in number of wins with 896. He is one of the only coaches in State History to win State Championships at three different schools and in three different classes.
He coached many young men and women over his career which included numerous All-State and All Star Players, all of whom he held in high regard. He was a dedicated public school educator and served in many roles over his career including Coach, Teacher, Principal, Superintendent, Drivers Ed Teacher, Mentor and many others. Thirteen seemed to be Henry’s number as he worked at each school 13 years, then retired from coaching in 2002. He began immediately working as a car salesman at James Hodge Chevrolet in Okmulgee, where we would also work for 13 years before completely retiring. Henry was a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association where he wasinducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, as well as the Oklahoma BasketballCoaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. He was awarded Oklahoma Coach of the Year several times, was the Region 5 National Coach of the Year in 1982 & 1988 and was a National Finalist for Basketball Coach of the Year in 2002.
He married the love of his life, Charlene Dudley, on January 8, 1960. The two had two children, Randy and Shelly. The couple shared 57 years of blissful marriage together. Henry loved being a Coach, but nothing was more important and made him more proud than his family. He loved spoiling his wife and kids, playing cards with his grandkids and being able to watch his great-grandchildren’s activities. He impacted so many young people’s lives over the years as an educator, but none more so than the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Marceau and Louise Roland; his father and mother-in-law Charley and Juanita Dudley; his brother, Joe Roland; brother-in-law Johnny Mabrey; sister, Mary Katherine, and his brother and sister-in-law Doyle and Joyce Thomas.
Henry is survived by:
his wife, Charlene, of the home;
son, Randy Roland of Sand Springs;
daughter, Shelly Roland and Dane Smart of Wewoka;
grandchildren, Stevi and husband Brett Hill of Holdenville,
Jake and wife Valeri Goodnight of Wanette,
Charli Roland and fiancé BJ Mollett of Lawton,
and Makayla Roland of Ohio;
great-grandchildren, Jaxon, Cade and Sophie Hill of Holdenville.
His sister, Mary Mabry of Muskogee,
Brother, Marceau Roland Jr. of Wichtia Falls,
Sister-in-law, Carol Roland,
Sister and Brother-in-law, Vickie and Art Sanders of Muskogee.
As well as numerous other family members and friends.
Viewing will take place from 12:00-8:00PM on Friday, July 21, 2017 at Integrity Funeral Home, 410 East Trudgeon St. Henryetta, Oklahoma.
Funeral Services honoring Henry’s life will be at 2:00PM, Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Integrity Funeral Home in Henryetta. Interment will follow at New Sonora Cemetery with Gordon Garner, A.J. Foster, Danny Schafer, Rick Norman, Mark Johnson, and Jake Goodnight serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are all of his former basketball players from his 39 year career