January 16, 2008
The Good Life: Roland Horrall

My grandfather, Roland ‘Rock’ Horrall, passed away on Dec 31, 2007 at age 94. He lived the good life. I say that and it has two meanings:

  • He was a genuinely good person. Beside his wife, the most moral person I’ve known.
  • His life was good… no …great. He saw so much, loved so many and earned the love and respect of hundreds.

Everyone at the funeral was so sad to see him go. Of course I was too…but upon some reflection, I realized that he had what we all wanted—an exceptionally great life. Brothers, sisters, wife of 50+ yrs, children, grandchildren and even 2 great-grandchildren (one named after him). He saw both world wars, watched as cars and TVs revolutionized the world, survived the great depression and even got his college degree in 1936, when doing so was quite unusual. He was an exceptional athlete. He advised me on how to defend in basketball (“knock em down”) and his college football team went undefeated one year, beating big bad University of Louisville in the final game of the season. He owned many race-horses and one tied for most wins at Ellis Pak one year. He was a master washers player and a master euchre player, winning a 500 person tournament at the age of 93. He was sharp til the end. He was a role model. He was a hard worker, sun up to sun down, working his vast land as a farmer. He was a loving father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and husband. He was a great man, and he was my grandfather. I am blessed to have known him for 28 years and can only hope my life is as successful and fulfilling as his.

Thank you grandpa, for being you.

Here is a picture of him holding his replacement (original was lost) college degree from 1936: