Roland A. Desjarlais, Captain USMC (Ret.) husband, father, grandfather, and brother, died on Monday April 7, surrounded by family at The Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, at the age of 83. He was the son of Emile and Clarinda (Cartier) Desjarlais (deceased) of Woonsocket, and was predeceased by siblings Cecile Jalbert, Doris Desjarlais and Gerard Desjarlais.
The individuals he leaves, and whose lives he has touched, are numerous. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and the love of his life for 57 years, Jeannette M. (Babineau) Desjarlais with whom he celebrated his five children: Carol A. Aubry of Coventry; Celeste M. Potter of Greenville; Robert D. Desjarlais of Warwick; Ronald G. Desjarlais of Chester, Va.; and David E. Desjarlais of North Kingstown. Roland taught them that nothing is more important than family and showed them anything can be achieved with courage and hard work. His friends and neighbors speak about his pride in their accomplishments and families.
In addition to his children, his son-in-law and daughters-in-law and his five grandchildren – Justin Aubry, Kyle Desjarlais, Sabrina Desjarlais, Nathan Potter and Chase Desjarlais – will deeply miss him. He also leaves his sisters Rose Jalbert, Simone Ferland, Theresa Lefbvre, and his brother Omer Desjarlais.
He took extreme pride in his 24 years of service in the United States Marine Corp. After traveling the United States and abroad for his country, he and his wife relocated back to Rhode Island where he was a subcontractor for the government and later worked at the University of Rhode Island. He was a talented story teller, painting pictures with his words of the adventures he lived and the sights he had seen. He loved living on Narragansett Bay and celebrated the 4th of July with gusto and his neighbors never failed to be amazed by his enthusiasm for decorating his home at Halloween and Christmas. He had a life long love of baseball and the Red Sox and would proudly wear his ball cap while puttering around the yard listening to a game on the radio. Armed with a roll of duct tape, Roland was transformed into an electrician, a painter or plumber and could repair any household item.
Funeral Friday, April 11, at 10 a.m. from the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Francis deSales Church, 381 School St., North Kingstown. Burial with Military Honors will be in Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island, Philip Hulitar Center or the Providence VA Medical Center.