Roland Joseph HAMEL Jr.

November 27, 1948June 19, 2020

On June 19, 2020 Roland passed away at age 71 and was taken to his everlasting home. He was born in Newport News, Virginia and lived in Arizona since 1974. He is survived by his wife Carol and sons Zachary, Jeremy and his wife Michael Anne and Joshua and step daughter Meghan and for grandchildren, Winter Elizabeth, Abigail Wilder, Emery Anne and Addison Holt. He has one surviving sister Mary Whitlock of Columbia, South Carolina and was preceded in death by his sister Barbara Flynn of Williamsburg, VA. Roland working career was involved in the Banking field and he retired from the FDIC in 2014. He was honored to serve proudly as a rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam with the USAF. He was equally proud to be a Virginia Tech Hokie graduate. His faith was centered in his love of family and his personal belief that kindness to other enriched him personally. Roland asked for no expressions of sympathy but to ask for others to do an unexpected good deed to another less fortunate in his memory in lieu of flowers or expressions of grief.


  • Memorial Service

    Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Roland Joseph HAMEL Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

denise gorman

July 10, 2020

Carol and family,

I am so sorry for your loss, Roland was one of the good guys. I am so happy that Roland and you found each other, another FIB love story. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I last saw Roland when he was working for the state, and he was happy and looked it.

Denise Gorman
FIB retired

Tommy Jenkins

June 29, 2020

Roland was such a special person. I had the pleasure of being at Newport News High School with him and he was one of the most popular and well liked persons in the entire school. He was such a kind person and a smile you would never forget. May he rest in peace and God be with his family and friends during this difficult time.

Woody Wagner

June 24, 2020

To Rollie’s family: You have lost a great person, but only temporarily. You will see him again, as we all will. Rollie’s disposition was as great as anyone’s I ever met. Always a smile and kind word for everyone he crossed paths with. GOD bless your soul Rollie.


June 24, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. I went to Saint Vincent's School with Roland from the first grade until he went to NNHS. I have the class picture when we made our First Holy Communion. Roland looked so sweet in his white suit, we were about 7 years old. My prayers are with your family. God bless Roland.

Dave McNamara

June 24, 2020

Roland is remembered very fondly by his Va Tech Pi Kappa Brothers.

Ramona Carneal Harrison

June 23, 2020

Rollie~What wonderful memories I have of our friendship throughout high school. Your adorable smile and sweet personality will never be forgotten. How lucky we were to be friends and share special times at NNHS and during the summers in between. I know your dear family will miss you so very much.

Beverly Sledge

June 23, 2020

How blessed we all were to know Rollie and to call him our friend. He always had a smile and kind word for everyone and could brighten your day with his quirky sense of humor.
My condolences to his family. I hope your memories will lift you up in your time of sorrow.
Our Typhoon family lost a great member!
Bev Miller Sledge

Judy Phillips Allen

June 23, 2020

I remember a very nice, cute young man in high school. He developed into a special man.
My heart aches for his family as a precious life is lost to them. I pray they are comforted by many wonderful memories.
God bless you all.

Judy and Jerry Allen
Fellow Typhoons

Chuck and Marilyn Springfield

June 23, 2020

Condolences to Rollie's family members. He was truly "one of a kind" and will be sorely missed by many. Chuck and I will continue to cherish our memories of our fun times with Rollie.

Rollie - We know you will be looking down upon us from Heaven and smiling that beautiful smile which we will never forget.

Reset in Peace... Love, Marilyn & Chuck Springfield

Bob Kenney

June 23, 2020

Rollie, I was saddened to learn of your passing. You were a wonderful friend who always made those of us fortunate enough to spend time with you feel better about life in general. I am sorry we did not live closer and sorry our respective careers took us around the world. I remember when I called you and kidded you about being a hero on the internet. In typical modesty, you said someone had read it and told you about it. Flying search and rescue was obviously dangerous and you did it saving lives in the process. Your professional career in banking was also an opportunity to make a difference in people's lives and you did so while taking care of your family. You are missed but save room for a lot of your fellow members of the NNHS Typhoon Family as well as your Hokie Nation. God Bless my friend.