On Feb. 15, 2017, the family of Loran Roland Simantel said goodbye to their beloved husband, father, grandfather, great- grandfather and friend. Born to Agnes and Ernest Simantel on Feb. 18, 1936, in Lewistown, Mont. Roland was raised in the Willamette Valley along with his sister Shirley. In his youth, Roland enjoyed many different activities, such as hunting, fishing, water skiing, playing sports and flying (having learned at 16). It didn’t take long for Roland to develop an incredible work ethic, resulting in him working countless hours before school, after school and on weekends. The many jobs included working on wheat, produce, and turkey farms, as well as the Willamina Plywood Mill and also hauling lumber out of Gopher Valley.
In the fall of 1956, he met Sharon (McKenney), his wife of 59 years in Hopewell Ore. Early in 1957, Roland moved out of the Willamette Valley and went to work for the Blalock Herford Ranch outside Arlington, Ore., and thus began his life as a dry land wheat farmer and cattle rancher. Later that year, on June 29, 1957, Roland and Sharon were married. In the fall of 1958 they started and raised their family of four children; Jon, David, Nancy, and Robert. In 1971, the family moved to and began farming in Sherman County while continuing to farm in Gilliam County. Roland served on the Wasco school board and was a member of Sherman County SWCD board. In 1985, Roland was recognized as Soil Conservationist of the Year by both Sherman County and the State of Oregon; fitting of a man who respected farmland and the life it provided his family.
Roland and Sharon moved from their ranch to Moro in 2008 and enjoyed spending time with family and traveling. In his later years, Roland faced health challenges and lived with Parkinson's Disease for over a decade. Although health complications made life more difficult, he remained strong and never lost his love of laughter, meeting new people, learning new things and sharing stories of his life with family.
He is survived by his wife Sharon, four children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren; Jon, (wife Julie and children Amanda, Maggie and Annie), David, (children Brandi, Cody and Chelsi and grandchildren Keilani, Leiana and Kailynn) Nancy, (husband Larry and children Haylee and Addison), Robert, (children Mitchel, his wife Emily, and Brian); sister Shirley Latham; stepbrothers Gary, Rex and Lee Simantel; cousin Phyllis Schwesow. Roland is preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Agnes Simantel and his grandson Michael Simantel, whom he loved and missed dearly.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the caregivers of Roland over the past few years that put in countless hours supporting and caring for him; especially Sonoma Olsen who shared many road trips with him.
A funeral service will be held for Roland on March 12, 2017, at the Wasco Methodist Church at 1 p.m. with Pastor Bob Reasoner presiding. A reception will follow at the Wasco Annex.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to; Michael Jon Simantel Memorial Scholarship, Wasco Methodist Church or a Charity/ Foundation of your choice.
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