OBITUARY

Roland Robert Reis

January 22, 1956May 31, 2021
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Roland Robert Reis, age 65, of Bartow, Florida passed away on Monday, May 31, 2021. Roland was born January 22, 1956 to Mary J. Reis and Jose H. Reis.

Mr. Reis had an impressive academic record. He earned a Bachelor or Arts in Classics from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1980, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in 1985. In addition, he also earned a Masters in Business Administration in 1983, a Masters in Public Administration in 1996, and a Masters in Public Health in 1999, all from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He was originally from Boston Massachusetts and moved to Florida in 1980.

Mr. Reis began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit in Fort Myers in 1985. In 1990, he went to work for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services as the Managing Attorney for Child Welfare Legal Services in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties, litigating dependency cases on behalf of abused and neglected children. In 1997, he took a position as Senior Attorney with the newly-formed Department of Health, advising local health department staff on legal issues involving environmental, health, employment, and administrative law. Mr. Reis also has experience in general practice, insurance defense, and personal injury law, and is a member of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

At the time of his passing, Mr. Reis was actively serving as a member of the Review Council for Human Subjects, which is the Institutional Review Board for the Department of Health. He also volunteered as a Guardian as well as a Guardianship Attorney for developmentally disabled adults.

In addition to his parents, Roland is survived by his brother Rhue Reis (Barbara) and sister Ruby Wade(Craig); nieces and nephews: Alex Reis (Kate), Lauren Walczak (Bobby), Zachary Wade and Kristen Reis; great nieces: Ellie Walczak, Sadie Walczak, Owen Reis and Baby Reis.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening from 4 until 8 p.m. at Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home at Manasota Memorial Park (1221 53rd Ave E, Bradenton, Florida 34203). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1220 15th St W, Bradenton, Florida 34205) with graveside services to follow at Skyway Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to the Sunrise Community of Central Florida, 5115 Wallace Ct, Lakeland, FL, 33813. For more information or to sign an online guestbook, you may visit www.ManasotaMemorial.com

  • FAMILY

  • Jose H. Reis, Father
  • Mary J. Reis, Mother
  • Rhue Reis (Barbara), Brother
  • Ruby Reis (Craig), Sister
  • Alex Reis, Lauren Waltzac, Zachary Wade and Kristen Reis, nieces and nephews
    Ellie Waltzac, Sadie Waltzac, Owen Reis and Baby Reis, great nieces

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Thursday, June 10, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, June 10, 2021

Memories

Roland Robert Reis

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Jim Luciano

June 11, 2021

I was introduced to Roland in 1968 at the Hobbs Junior high School as our new classmate by Mr. McGinnis. RIP my friend. Jim Luciano

Daniela Chiriboga

June 10, 2021

My dear friend Roland, I will never see a picture hanging askew on a wall without thinking of you. I have good memories of working with you at the DOH, especially once when we drove up to Tallahassee for an IRB meeting and discussing the World Cup. May the Lord hold you in His Eternal Embrace.

Michele Lemaster (Ford)

June 10, 2021

I learned so much from Roland Reis in the 8 years that I had the sincere pleasure of working with him at FDOH in Bartow. He was the Attorney and I was a new Director of Nursing at the time. Roland is the one who encouraged me to get my Master's in Public Health. He taught me so much about how to properly handle staff issues. He provided advise and counsel that I use to this day in the workplace. I speak of him often and relay advise that he gave to me to my current staff. I can recall a few times when he sat behind his desk and shook his head in disagreement with the way that I had handled something. Then he would look up at me with a smirk and I knew he wasn't really mad. I will miss you Roland Reis, in many ways you were an important mentor who influenced my career. I had hoped that we would see each other again someday..... and we will my friend...we will!
Michele (Ford) Lemaster

Gloria Stephens

June 10, 2021

I had the privilege of getting to know Roland during his tenure as the Managing Attorney for Child Welfare Services at the Department of Children and Families. Always the consummate professional, representing abused and neglected children with objectivity and sensitivity. Sincerest condolences to and prayers for his family.

Donna Korora

June 9, 2021

Roland erat vir bonus. He was a sommelier, a linguist of Latin, and a connoisseur of Wolfie's Restaurant pickles. A vita boni vixit !

Maria Gallo

June 9, 2021

So many fond memories of Roland....discussing politics during a visit at the DOH or sharing a meal at a Sunrise group home event. May his family take comfort from the many people who will undoubtedly remember his generosity. A true servant who lived his mission. My sympathies to his family.

Linda Lacomb-williams

June 9, 2021

I am saddened to hear of Roland's passing. I worked with him in Polk County, Health Department and Children's Medical Services. I also knew him from LA Fitness and he was my neighbor in Brandon for many years. I will always be thankful and grateful for him inspiring and encouraging me to pursue my Masters in Public Health from the University of South Florida. We shared many memories on our time at USF. Condolences to Roland's family. God bless you. Sincerely Linda LaComb Williams

Ann Hipson

June 8, 2021

I am saddened to hear of Roland's death. We worked together at DCF and I was most fond of him. He cared about what happened to our kids. He was a good and honorable man. He died much too young.

Daniel Medved

June 8, 2021

With heartfelt sympathy to Roland’s family, whom he so deeply loved. For those of us at the Florida Department of Health, Office of the General Counsel, Roland was a friend, colleague and mentor. It was a privilege and pleasure to share our vocation with him. We were all so enriched by knowing Roland and having him in our lives. He was always so compassionate and dedicated to every one of his clients and his causes. He was an exemplary public servant, knowing that he was making a difference for people each and every day. In working with Roland for most of his career, I will miss his thoughtfulness and consideration. When you shared a conversation with him, you always knew that he listened with care, concern and interest, wanting to understand and committed to help. You learned more about the topic, and you often learned something more about yourself. Such a blessing and a gift. Roland was a gentleman, scholar, philosopher, theologian, attorney, and so much more. We will miss him dearly. May God bless Roland, our friend, with eternal peace.

Nancy Keating

June 8, 2021

I worked with Roland for many years at the Health Department in Bartow. I always will remember Roland for his sense of humor and his calm and quiet demeanor. My prayers and sympathy go out to his family.

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