A Celebration of Life will be held for longtime Alamosa resident Roland Doyle Crowder, 91, who passed away on April 7, 2020, at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa.
Roland was born in Two Buttes, Colorado, the eldest of five children to Howard Martin Crowder and Olivia Cherry Crowder. He grew up during the dust bowl era, leaving their Eastern Colorado home in 1938 when he was in 3rd grade to settle in the San Luis Valley. As a young boy, he worked the farm with his father, land that he would continue to work for over 80 years. He was an outstanding four-sport athlete in high school and college which spawned his life-long love of sports. He enjoyed pitching for Santeremos Pizza for many years and people to this day still remembered him for being one of the première pitchers in the state of Colorado in fast-pitch softball. While attending Adams State College he met the love of his life and married Catherine Dawn Brunelli on June 6, 1949, in the Methodist Church in Alamosa, Colorado. Shortly after they were married they lived at the Waverly School until 1966, when they purchased their own family farm where they resided for the next 53 years. To this union, they were blessed with six children. One of his proudest accomplishments in life was being married to his wife for over 70 years.
Roland was an educator at the Waverly School for 33 years. During that time, he simultaneously held the roles of custodian, principal, coach and teacher. In 2018 he was inducted into the ASU Educator’s Hall of Fame, and to this day many of his former students say he was the best teacher they ever had. As if those jobs were not enough, he also farmed full time with his father on their adjoining farms. Together they raised livestock, potatoes, hay and various grains. He enjoyed working alongside his four sons as they grew older, many who still farm the land today. Even though he retired from teaching, he never retired from farming. He had a great passion for raising sheep, and always seemed to make at least one a pet each year. When he was no longer able to physically work on the farm, he continued to have strong input on every aspect of the daily operations, and he continued to keep the farm books until his death.
Of all the jobs he had, the role he loved the most was being a family man. His wife, kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids were the most important thing in his life. He loved them fiercely and always got the biggest joy from seeing them. He was an exemplary role model, who was the finest example of a husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, teacher and friend. He lived his life with a quiet dignity and grace.
He is survived by his children Marjorie (John) Guyer of Wapello, Iowa, Lawrence Crowder, John (Karen) Crowder, Paul Crowder (Patty of Pueblo, CO), Stan (Jeannie) Crowder and Kathleen (Tim) Johnson, all of Alamosa, Colorado; his siblings Dwight (Anne) Crowder of Las Cruces, NM, Thelma Cooper of Arvada, CO, Barbara Armstrong of Alamosa, CO and Lois (Bob) Wesley of Las Cruces, New Mexico; 18 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and one on the way; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Roland is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dawn.
A public memorial will be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. at the Alamosa Christian Reformed Church in Waverly.
Rogers Family Mortuary is in care of the arrangements. To leave words of comfort, memories, remarks and condolences for Roland’s family, please visit www.RogersFunerals.com.