William “Bill” Edward Rohland, 75, died Tuesday morning, October 6, 2020, in a plane crash near Evansville, Indiana. The last several years Bill had been living and working in retirement at Posey Patch airfield near Mount Vernon, Indiana during the summer months and residing with his wife and son at their home in Garden Grove, California through the winter.
Bill was born October 11, 1944, in Withee, Wisconsin, to Julius and Gertrude Rohland. He attended Owen-Withee schools and graduated in 1956. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and continued serving in the Air National Guard after his retirement from the Air Force and maintained many close friendships from his military service days. He lived in St. Louis, Missouri and Collinsville, Illinois before moving to California.
Bill was devoted to flying. In retirement he learned to fly ultra light planes and made life-long friends in that world. He worked closely with Tri State Kites at the Posey Patch airfield in Mount Vernon, Indiana and at Sullivan Airfield near St. Louis, Missouri, promoting flying, participating in flying clubs and instructing student pilots. He made committed friendships there and wherever he spent time.
He is survived by his wife, Ngoc Vu Rohland and son, Julian; his brother, Curtis Rohland (LaMae), Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; sister Deborah Gengenbach, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; brothers-in-law Hung Vu (Phuong Vo), St. Louis, Missouri; Ta’n Vu (Trang Nguyen), Atlanta, Georgia; Tan Vu (Thuc Le) Smithfield, Rhode Island; nephews John Rohland (Lan), Eau Claire, and Albert Rohland, La Crosse, Wisconsin; niece Larissa (Florian) Skwierczynski, Lake Hallie, Wisconsin; nephew Gus Gengenbach (Cassidy) Bremerton, Washington; niece Julia, Madison, Wisconsin; niece Beth (Charles Hinkle) Leasburg, North Carolina; niece Amy (Neil) Hodorovsky, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; six grand nieces, two great grand nieces, four great grand nephews; and numerous cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Caroline Rohland, Edward and Amelia Petke, parents Julius and Gertrude Rohland, his older sister, Nancy (Bill) Schley, and numerous aunts and uncles and several cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, October 24 at Riverside Cemetery. The cemetery is one mile west of Withee, Wisconsin on state highway 29.
The family regrets that a meal together cannot be enjoyed at this time due to the restrictions imposed by the ongoing corona virus pandemic.
A nonprofit organization has not yet been chosen as recipient for any gifts of money given in Bill’s honor.
Susan Schley says
You will be missed Uncle Bill, Rest In Peace. 🌹
*After the service, folks are invited to a local restaurant providing a buffet that day, as safely as possible, following local guidelines, $12.50/per person, if you feel so inclined. The address is 907 E 3rd St Owen, WI. All are welcome to attend and share memories of Bill.
Roger Horn retired Chief Master Sergeant says
So sorry for your loss. Bill and I met in the Air National Guard at Jefferson Barracks. He would stop by for chats after drill and sometimes if he was in the area. He continued to stop by even after we both had left
The guard. He was always interesting to talk with and we would sit for long periods and chat. I will miss him a lot.
Dennis Moslander says
Bill and I worked together at the 218th. We had several TDYs together, had long talks about everything you could think of. He loved people and the guard. He will be missed.
Sue J Jackson says
So sorry to the entire family for your loss. I am the aunt of Mike Schlichtman who died at the same time. Would love to have some contact with your family.
Dan Hoang says
I was just reading Uncle Bill’s email a couple days before he passed. So sudden; Rest in Peace uncle Bill, you will be missed!
Jerrold Rohland says
So sorry for the loss of Bill Rohland, who was a cousin and a friend.
I enjoyed our talks and his sense of humor. He will be missed.
Jerry Fields says
Bill and I were first cousins. Although he was a few years older, in the early years we shared an interest in sports cars. Bill drove an MG and I drove an Austin-Healy. In later years we occasionally exchanged e-mails and kept in loose touch.
Bill, in his e-mails, would often describe his ultralight projects and experiences. He piloted spotter aircraft in Vietnam and was shot down more than once, but flying became his life-long interest.
I remember Bill’s sense of humor. In high school he and some friends would appear in local talent shows and do a slapstick routine that was quite fun to watch.
He will be missed.
Carolyn Recker says
My condolences to Bill’s family. I know he will be missed by all who knew him and admired his adventures.
John Kratz says
Bill was active for a while with the ultralight and sport pilots squadron at Perris Airport. We are saddened by his passing and send condolences to his family.
Trent Duff says
Bill was a good friend. We flew from St. Louis to Marshfield, WI when his mother was in the hospital. He had a great love for small airplanes, so it was a joy to take him for a 5 hour trip in a Cessna 172. Big adventure in April roughly 7 years ago. A joy to meet some of his family in Withee. Wishing the very best to his family and friends.