Roland Micklem, age 89, died peacefully on May 6, 2018.
A celebration of Roland’s life will be held on Sunday (July 22) at 1:30 pm at the Rose Union Community Building, 10734 School Street, in Rose, New York.
He was born on October 10, 1928 to Alice Cook Micklem and Austen C. Micklem, Sr. in Woodlawn, Virginia, the third of four sons. Roland served his country in Korea as a paratrooper in the Army Air Borne, then attended college at William and Mary (VA) and graduated from the Cornell College of Agriculture in 1954 with a major in ornithology, conservation and education. He then worked for the Rochester School District for 15 years, teaching science and biology to grades 7-10, and then 7 more years as a home tutor. In the mid 1970’s Roland joined a collective (Cleareye, in Savannah) that distributed whole and natural foods. He worked there for 20 years, then part-time for another 10.
Roland was a naturalist, a writer, an avid bicyclist, an irrepressible joke and story teller, a musician and a songwriter. He was a Christian who lived his faith each day, sought to find peaceful resolution to conflict, had respect for people of all colors, religions and cultures and a deep appreciation of all life on Earth. As a follower of St. Francis, Roland believed we were put on this earth to be the stewards of the natural world and its creatures. He recognized climate change decades before our current understanding and called attention to its causes and what each of us could do to slow and reverse the change. He never stopped learning, or teaching children the wonder of the natural world, and reminding each of us of our responsibility to nourish and protect our Mother Earth for the next generations. As an elder, he continued to write letters and articles, he sat-in, he marched-on, he fasted, he got arrested. Stewardship was the act of living.
Roland was married to Carolyn Derby Micklem in 1951 and is the father of Susan (James Gallaher), Sarah (Cornelius Eady), and Norman (Mekia Zedaker Micklem) and the grandfather of Cody Gallaher, and Parker and Olivia Micklem. He is survived by his brothers James T. Micklem and Colbert Micklem.