The Duncan Banner
Ernest L. Rolland was born April 22, 1920, in Hanna, to Elijah and Lela Moulder Rolland. He passed from this life to his heavenly reward March 29, 2014, surrounded by the love of his family. He was a strong and faithful man of God. His legacy will live on as it is passed down through his generations, even to those not yet born. Psalm 78:1-7.
Ernest grew up in Oklahoma City during the Great Depression. He joined the CCC to help support his mother, sister and brother. He came home after his time fire fighting in California and soon met the love of his life. He married OmaLee Murrell on Nov. 16, 1941, in Chickasha. OmaLees’s death after 67 years wasn’t the end of their steadfast and unconditional love, for he continued to love her for the rest of his life. Now they are reunited in Heaven, never to be parted again.
Ernest served his country during World War II by joining the Navy. He and OmaLee would look at the moon at 10 p.m. every night while they were apart so they would feel close to each other. The war ended and Ernest, OmaLee and their baby son, Jearl, began to live their lives as a family.
A neighbor invited Ernest to church and refused to take “no” as an answer. Ernest heard the message of salvation at Faith Tabernacle Assembly of God and walked down the aisle to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. OmaLee also accepted Jesus and their lives were forever changed.
Soon afterward their precious son, Jearl, was stricken with polio. Ernest fell on his face before the Lord and asked for his son’s life, promising to tell what God had done everywhere he went. Jearl was completely healed and Ernest kept his promise to tell of God’s greatness for the rest of his life. The doctors said OmaLee would never be able to have more children, but again they took their need to the Lord. OmaLee was healed and gave birth to three more children: Steven, Nancy and Virginia.
Ernest felt God’s call on his life to become a minister. He accepted that call and became an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God, serving churches in Fletcher, Comanche, Duncan, Ringling, Antlers and Corum before retiring in 1996 at the age of 76. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his ordination.
Ernest gave selflessly so that the gospel could be preached to all the nations. His vision and passion for missions was passed to his family and the churches he served. He touched many lives, led countless souls to Jesus and made lasting friendships that go with him into eternity.
His positive attitude left an imprint on everyone he met. He helped young preachers get started by giving them opportunities to minister in the churches he pastored and offering wise counsel. Although he never traveled far, the seeds he planted have reached around the world with the story of the love of Jesus.
He loved his children and they loved him in return. He was their rock, their example and their hero. They could go to him with anything and help was immediate. He was a wonderful daddy and brought fun and laughter to his home.
But his greatest treasures were all of his grandchildren. They were the apple of his eye and he delighted in them. He loved watching, and later, just hearing about their sporting and music events. His blessings, on marriages and babies, were excitedly sought and generously given. He is adored by each of his descendants and we anxiously await our glorious reunion in Heaven.
Ernest was preceded in death by his mother and father; wife, OmaLee; sister, Virginia; brother, Jack; son, Jearl; grandson, Brent; and granddaughter, Karey.
Survivors include children: son, Steven (Debbie) Rolland of Choctaw, daughter, Nancy (Bill) Walker of Newcastle, daughter, Gina (Jack) Lokey of Comanche; daughter-in-law, Sandra Rolland of Sapulpa; and a sister-in-law, Loveanna Rolland of Oklahoma City; grandchildren: Clint (Lisa) Lokey of Duncan, Amber (Rusty) Helms of Sapulpa, Dilynn (Keith) Hare of Comanche, Lori (Sid) Richardson of Harrah, Dennis (Gina) Milburn of Comanche, Dawn (Ray) Rutzer of McCloud, Derek (Janet) Milburn of Duncan and Steven Rolland of Japan; great-grandchildren: Emelia Lokey, Craig and Josh Helms, Jacob (Julia), Devan (Kayla) and Blake (Kelsey) Hare, Kelsey Beesley, Callysta and Lindsey Richardson, Chris (Kala) Jones, Jordan (Shawna) Milburn, Brittany (Derek) Johnson, Brooklyn and Justin Milburn, Tanner, Tyler and Tayler Rutzer, and Emma Dawn Milburn; great-great-grandchildren: Ryder Hare and Ember Jones.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, at Bethel Assembly of God in Duncan. Interment will be in the Fairlawn Cemetery at Comanche under direction of Bailes-Polk Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Pallbearers will be Clint Lokey, Dennis Milburn, Derek Milburn, Keith Hare, Rusty Helms, Ray Rutzer and Sid Richardson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bethel Assembly of God Missions Department, 700 West Plato Road, Duncan, 73533; Bethesda Assembly of God Missions Department 3101 SW 89th Street, Oklahoma City 73159; or to a mission department at a church of your choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.bailespolkfuneralhome.com.