Roland William Ricci lost his battle against Covid-19 January 18, 2021 at the age of 67. Roland lived his life to the fullest, never feeling sorry for himself for the 10 years he fought multiple myeloma and a genetic kidney disease that put him on dialysis.
Roland was the oldest child (by 5 minutes) born to Doris Johnson Ricci and Orlando Ricci. He was raised in Osawatomie, Kansas, graduating from Osawatomie High School in 1972 and going on to earn a degree in education from Kansas State College in Pittsburg in 1976. He taught school in the Bendina, Kansas area for one year then heard the siren call of the sea. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1977, graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1979. He was stationed in the Philippines in the early 1980's. He left active duty in 1985 and completed his 20 years with the Navy Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.
Roland married Brenda Stevens in Charlotte, NC in 1988. They lived in North Carolina, California, Arizona, and Texas before deciding on the Springfield area as their home. Roland went on to teach special education in Springfield at both Central High School and Parkview High School where he retired in 2019. Roland's biggest joy of his life was his son Alex Ricci. As with everything else that he did in life, he put his whole heart into being the best father.
Roland was the best of humankind. He loved talking to people and making them feel good about themselves. He hated mean people. He had a passion for sailing, riding his old leaky Harley-Davidson, fishing with Alex, and building Sturling Engines.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda Stevens Ricci; son, Alex Ricci, Springfield, MO; twin brother, Basil Ricci of Osawatomie, KS; brother, Tony Ricci & wife Ruth of Granite Bay, CA; sister, Carol McCool and husband Scott of Discovery Bay, CA, and many much-loved sisters and brothers-in-law; nieces; nephews; great nieces; and great nephews.
Roland will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Heaven gained a beautiful soul, but unfortunately earth lost a really decent, extremely patient, kind, funny, loving and generous man.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in Roland's name.
Arrangements and care are under the direction of Adams Funeral Home, Nixa.
A celebration of life for Roland will be held at a later date.