Photography

Arlen Roll

December 26, 1935 ~ February 3, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

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Arlen Roll, 88, was born in a cabin on the Yellowstone River near Glendive on Dec. 26, 1935. His family moved frequently from town to town, wherever his father Stilden was needed to teach school. 
Growing up, Arlen and his sister Gloria delighted in hiding from their parents in wheat fields, riding pigs, and getting up to various other antics and high jinks. Later in life when younger brother Dale came along, he undoubtedly benefitted from their questionable wisdom. Arlen’s Uncle Cornelius Bates taught him how to hunt and fish, pursuits that were close to his heart throughout his life. 
He attended Flathead County High School in Kalispell where he met his wife of 61 years, Maryle (Tracht) Roll. 
Arlen later joined the Air Force and served in Korea as a radar technician. He graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and joined the U.S. Forest Service where he worked in the personnel department from his family’s base in Missoula and, for one year, Washington, D.C. 
He was a frequent volunteer in his children’s activities, including scouting. He had the gifts of a Renaissance man, creating antler jewelry that he sold at art fairs throughout the region. Arlen later turned his considerable talents to stained glass work, producing beautiful lamps and window inserts, in addition to an entire village of houses for his beloved daughter, Linda. Arlen was Linda’s greatest confidante and she was his protégé, learning stained glass art at his side. With his son John, Arlen spent countless happy hours hunting and fishing. It was in nature, Arlen said, that he could see the face of the Creator. 
The indestructible Arlen Roll, who survived more than 35 broken bones and four bouts of cancer in his life, died peacefully on a blustery Saturday night. 
He was preceded in death by his mother, Myrtle Strodtbeck; father, Stilden Roll; sister, Gloria McMichael; and nephews, Brian and Larry McMichael. 
He is survived by his beloved wife, Maryle; daughter, Linda Robb (husband Don) of Kalispell; son, John (wife Mary Ann) and grandson Marshall of Spokane; brother, Dale (wife Rita) and niece Tanya of Alta Loma, California; niece, Janice McMichael of Kalispell; and nephews, Wayne and Glen McMichael. 
Donations in Arlen’s name can be made to the Sparrow’s Nest. 

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