Roland A McDonah

December 10, 1926February 21, 2017
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With love, sadness, and gratitude for all he gave us, we announce Rollie’s death on February 21, 2017.

Rollie was the loving husband of Frances (Somers) for sixty-one years and the beloved father for Brian (Morag), Stephen (Kathy), Shannon (Camille) LeBlanc, Michael (Kim), Kathleen (Bill) Walton, Kevin (Karen), D’Arcy (Anne), Erin and Seana. He is also survived by his 22 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Rollie cherished family and friends and loved to be in their company whenever possible.

Born on December 10, 1926, in Sydney, NS, Rollie was the son of Otty and Amelia (McNeil) McDonah. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his only sister Mary Eileen and brothers Donald, Roderick, Gregory and John.

Rollie loved to learn and attended Sydney Academy, graduated from Xavier Junior College, Sydney and later received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University. Through the years, he worked in a number of careers starting at the Sydney Steel Plant and then numerous roles with the Federal Public Service where he retired in 1988 as the regional director of finance and administration for Parks Canada.

Rollie was also very active in the community. He volunteered for several years at the IWK Hospital as a member of the Kiwanis Golden K Club and was an active contributor to many activities in his parish and neighbourhoods. He was a member of the Canadian Army Militia, serving with the Cape Breton Highlanders, 3 Militia Group and Halifax Rifles.

An active sailor, Rollie participated in many sailing regattas with his family in Halifax as well as Chester and Lunenburg. He also loved to travel and meet people. He could rouse a smile from all he met with a wink and a Werther.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at Saint Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs Parish (1725 Oxford St.) at 11AM on Saturday, February 25, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Cremation and Internment will take place at a later date.

The family expresses special thanks to the nurses and doctors at the QEII, the paramedics at EHS, Dr. Graeme Bethune and to the VON for their dedication and compassionate care.

In memory of Rollie, please consider donating to Chalice, the Neurofibromatosis Society of Nova Scotia ( or a charity of choice and by serving others with an act of kindness.


  • Funeral Mass Saturday, February 25, 2017

Roland A McDonah

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Terry Rutkauskas

March 14, 2017

Dear Shannon and Family,
We were so very sorry to hear of your father's recent passing. He sounds like he was a wonderful, accomplished man, who lived a long, full life - all those grandchildren and great-grandchildren - he was truly blessed! You are in our thoughts and prayers, the Rutkauskas Family

February 25, 2017

To Fran and the McDonah family. My sympathies on the loss of Rollie. We had many good times at Parks. A Ada over the years and Rollie certainly left his mark on the organization in a large way. I pray that your memories of Rollie will sustain you all in the days ahead. Bob Eaton

Stephanie Carne

February 25, 2017

Dear Fran and the McDonah family
So sorry to hear of Rollie's passing. He was a wonderful man and well remembered. I'm sorry I won't be there for the funeral.
Thinking of you, Stephanie (Jones), Jason, Dylan and Tamsin Carne

Deb and Dan Piggott

February 25, 2017

Dear Shannon and family.
Deb and I send our sincerest condolences to you, your Mom and family during this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with you all.

marcel aucoin

February 25, 2017

Dear Fran and family ,
We were so fortunate to have you and Rollie as our next door neighbours when we first moved to Seligs Rd. Rollie's friendship, kind nature, permanent smile and twinkle .... we will never forget.

Rest in peace Rollie.

Marcel and Sharon Aucoin

Jennifer, John, Ron & Marie Downie and Sullivan families Downie Sullivan

February 25, 2017

Kathleen, Fran and the entire McDonah family, our deepest condolences to you at this very sad & difficult time. A wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed. A lifetime of beautiful memories to hold onto and cherish. With sympathy and love, the Downie and Sullivan families. Xo

Francis Tibbetts

February 25, 2017

Fran and family:
I have the most pleasant memories of the years you and Rollie were members of Armdale Yacht Club and kept your series of boats at the Waegwoltic. "Cough Drop" and "Orange Peel" particularly come to mind. Your kids,were afforded the chance to learn sailing, and a couple of them went on to excel (and continue to excel) at the sport. Through these years Rollie was always on the scene, and people frequently remarked on his total interest and involvement in his family. I was sad to read of his passing.
I am in Florida and will not be able to attend the service. I wish I could.
My thoughts are with you and with the fine family you and Rollie turned out.

Francis Tibbetts

February 24, 2017

Dear Fran: Ron and I have been here in Florida for just over a week and we were so sad to read of Rollie's death in the paper yesterday. He was such an extraordinary person, always sharing his humour and generosity. It was such a delight to meet him in church and to be the recipient of his Lindt treats over the years. He was special indeed. We regret that we are not able to attend the Mass tomorrow but send our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to you and your wonderful family. Sincerely, Ron and Marie Downie

Karla Mackenzie

February 24, 2017

D'Arcy, sending you and your entire family my deepest sympathy during your time of sorrow.

Theresa MacNeil

February 24, 2017

Shannon and all of the McDonah family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mr McDonah sounds like he was a very fine person whom many were lucky to call family or friend. Shannon, many of your father's described traits are easily manifest in you. Please take comfort in the lovely and many memories you have of your dad. Love, Theresa