Roland Vernon Hill was born on April 28, 1929 in the village of Loose, Kent County, England.
He came to Canada in September, 1966 with his wife, Julia, three daughters, Rebecca, Rachel, and Ruth, and their dog, McGregor.
Roland and his family moved to Northeastern Ontario in 1967, then moved to Moose Crossing Farm in 1969. Thus began a career that lasted a span of 30 years, as a bait and tackle shop owner, hunting and fishing guide, fur trapper, prospector, farmer, vegetable grower (especially his potatoes and turnips), and, for a short spell, a school bus driver.
In all these, Roland met many people from all over the world. Whether you worked for a mining company, wanted a moose taken out of the bush, were looking for a guide for the best fishing hole, or looking to buy a scout canoe, a fur hat, a bush swamper, or just a dozen minnows, you were blessed to have met him—and maybe even lucky enough to be invited in for a spot of tea and something sweet.
With his larger-than-life stories and sense of humour, he was entertaining to say the least.
In 1999, Roland and Julia moved to Rainy River in Northwestern Ontario, where once again he made many friends, both American and Canadian. He entertained many with his hunting and fishing stories and photo albums, “The Book of Lies.”
For the last 18 years, Oak Grove Road was home, where he enjoyed Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River, his bush machine, tractor, garden ice shack, alpine rocks, dogs, and the deer.
He became quite the birder, too (he could always spot the rare birds).
Roland was happy making and selling his rock inuksuks at the local farmers' market in the Town of Rainy River and the Fine Line Art Gallery in Fort Frances, Ont.
Roland became a familiar sight at the border crossing into Baudette, Mn., where he and Julia joined the early-morning swimming group, during which Roland would chat and Julia would swim.
He has many acquaintances in Baudette but one special friend was George Palm, whom he would have breakfast with frequently, as well as share jokes and special experiences.
In July, Roland and Julia took one final trip to England, where he unfortunately took ill. He was transferred to the hospital in Fort Frances, where he spent the last two weeks.
On Sept. 29, 2017, Roland passed away at the age of 88 years.
Roland is survived by his wife, Julia; daughters, Rebecca (Yvon) Fortier, Rachel (Mark) Gadowski, and Ruth Kirkey; grandchildren, Daniel (Erica), Alison, Christina, Corey (Amanda), and Alex; and great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Bentley, and Levi.
He also is survived by three sisters in Great Britain, Jean, Margaret (Clifford), and Sally (Len); and niece, Inga, and nephews, Simon, Mark, Timothy, Donald, Charles, Tony, Christopher, and their families.
Roland was predeceased by one sister, Joy, and brother, Roger.
Roland will be sadly missed by his very good friend, George Palm, all his Oak Grove Road neighbours and friends, the Art Guild and the First Lutheran Church in Baudette, and all his good friends in Northeastern Ontario.
In memory of Dad, donations to the Miners Memorial in Kirkland Lake would be greatly appreciated c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.