The Reverend Roland Glendinning
The Reverend Roland Glendinning
The Reverend Roland Glendinning
The Reverend Roland Glendinning

Obituary of The Reverend Roland Glendinning

On Friday, April 30, 2021 Roland passed away peacefully at the age of 92 at the Brockville General Hospital. Roland was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1928, the youngest of James and Lena’s six children. He emigrated to Canada in 1951 and obtained both B.A. and B. Div. degrees from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He married Rita Sylvia Kesseler in 1955 and they had 44 love-filled years together and raised three children: Lianne, Barbara and Jeffrey. He was proud Grandpa to Dylan Glendinning Evans, the son of Barb and her husband, Dave. After Rita passed in 1999, Roland was lucky enough to find a second love with Mary Cross, who became his best friend and travelling partner. Roland had a deep and abiding Christian faith that had been with him since childhood. Roland’s first ministerial position was at First Baptist Church in Grimsby, Ontario. The family later moved to Brockville where he was the Minister at First Baptist Church for six years. He then switched career paths to continue his “ministry” through work with the Leeds and Grenville Board of Education. He retired from the Board in 1993 but continued to serve as supply minister in churches of various denominations in eastern Ontario and upper New York State. He officiated over countless marriages and funerals, and touched the lives of many. The phrase “Irish Charm” describes Roland Glendinning to a “T”. Everyone who knew or met Roland would comment on what great – and often funny – stories he would tell. He was the ultimate optimist, seeing the good (or at least the potential!) in everyone. If you were having a bad day, and bumped into Roland, you left with a better outlook and a smile. Roland had an indomitable spirit. No task was too daunting, no job too trivial. He spent countless hours volunteering to help others. His work with the VON, Rideau Valley District Health Council, The March of Dimes, the Brockville Friendship Centre, Career Services and more, earned Roland wide recognition. He received many awards, among them the Canada Volunteer Award of Merit. For many years, Roland and Rita collected Belleek, a type of fine china hand-made in Ireland. They were members of the Belleek Collectors International Society, and Roland was the founding president of the Ontario (Trillium) Chapter of the organization. He was later elected to the Belleek Society’s Hall of Fame in Fermanagh, Ireland. The St. Lawrence river held a special place in Roland’s heart. On land, the family would camp at Ivy Lea campground, and after buying their first boat, Roland and Rita spent many happy summers cruising through the islands, and was a proud member of the Brockville Yacht Club. In the last few months of his life, Roland loved to sit in the sunroom at the Wedgewood Retirement Residence and simply watch the river. Roland’s annual trips to Portugal with Mary also brought him much joy and new friendships. On every one of their 15 trips, they would rent a car and “toodle” about the countryside, stopping to buy fresh fish and vegetables to take home and cook up for supper. Barring rain, Roland would always pull their table out onto the grass, fill a vase with wildflowers, and give thanks for his wonderful life. He will be missed. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Interment and a Public Service of Remembrance will be held at a later date. In memory of Roland, donations to the First Baptist Church, Brockville or the Charity of your choice would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Arrangements entrusted to the Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl Street East, Brockville. Messages of condolence may be made online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com.
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