American Veteran 01

William Joseph Roloff

October 13, 1935 ~ May 24, 2019 (age 83)


William Joseph Roloff, 83, of Charlevoix, passed away on May 24, 2019 at his home surrounded by his beloved family.

On October 13, 1935 William Joseph Roloff was born in St Joseph, Michigan, to Joseph and Gladys Roloff.

He joined the Navy in 1955 and was part of the USS Wasp.  He was able to see several parts of the world, including England, Japan, and China.  He and his wife Shirley reminisced about this recently, as she got her passport to go with him to England and how “grandpa never ended up taking me” as they laughed.  He met his wife Shirley Suddreth from Lenoir, North Carolina, in St. Joseph, Michigan at a bowling alley.  His future wife didn’t think much of him at first, but Bill was persistent and won her over eventually; 60 years later you could hear grandpa saying that he couldn’t live without her.  They moved around before finally settling in Charlevoix the Beautiful in 1974.  He later started his own business Charlevoix Canvas where you could find him sewing the canvas pieces to make loading spouts.

Grandpa Bill liked to tinker with things and enjoyed planting tomatoes and radishes out on his back deck where his grandchildren would often enjoy picking and eating them. 

His sense of humor will be missed as he was quick witted and was always making us laugh.  In his last few days, the family overheard him say to his wife Shirley “I left you $700 in the bottom drawer of the dresser to go gambling, you’re welcome.”  As they often enjoyed trips to the casino together. 

He left behind his wife Shirley of 60 years, children William Roloff Jr (Chelsea Pischner), Robert (Audrey) Roloff, daughters Beth (Jim) Martin and Rebecca Roloff.  Grandchildren Jodie Roloff, Andrea (Jason) Roloff-Doty, William (Samantha) Roloff, Emily Roloff, Jamie Roloff, Robert Roloff Jr, and Sarah Martin.  Great-grandchildren Cameron Roloff and Landen Roloff.  Sister Nancy (Robert) Cooley, brothers in law Charlie Suddreth, Jerry Muma, Richard Pomeroy, many loving nieces and nephews, and special friend Jane Zeitler.  We cannot forget his cherished dog Earl.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Gladys (Rickers) Roloff, son Bryan Keith Roloff, sisters and brothers JoAnn Pomeroy, Robert Roloff, Lenore Shafer, and sisters and brothers in law Helen Mahaffey, Clara Coffey, Robert Suddreth, Wilma Vedok, Richard Suddreth, Patty Muma and Gail Hayes.

His life will be celebrated later this summer, and any donations may be made to the Bryan Roloff Memorial Fund at Charlevoix State Bank.  Bill and Shirley started this fund 26 years ago to help with the medical needs of the Northern Michigan community in honor of their late son, Bryan.

Arrangements have been handled by the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Sign his online guestbook  

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