Roland Doyle Crowder, 91

ALAMOSA — Longtime Alamosa resident Roland Doyle Crowder, 91, died April 7, 2020, at Alamosa’s San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center.

Roland was born in Two Buttes -- the eldest of five children -- to Howard Martin Crowder and Olivia Cherry Crowder. He grew up during the dust bowl era and, in third grade, left their Eastern Colorado home in 1938.

As a young boy, he worked the farm with his father -- land that he would continue to work for over 80 years. He was an outstanding four-sport athlete in high school and college, which spawned his life-long love of sports.

He enjoyed pitching for Santeremos Pizza for many years. To this day, people still remembered him as one of the première pitchers in Colorado state’s fast-pitch softball. While attending Adams State College he met the love of his life, Catherine Dawn Brunelli.

They married on June 6, 1949, in the Methodist Church in Alamosa. Shortly after they were married, they began living at the Waverly School -- where they remained until 1966. Then, they purchased their own family farm and resided there for the next 53 years. 

To this union, they were blessed with six children. One of his proudest accomplishments in life was being married to his wife for over 70 years.

Roland was an educator at the Waverly School for 33 years. During that time, he simultaneously held the roles of custodian, principal, coach and teacher. In 2018, he was inducted into the ASU Educator’s Hall of Fame. To this day many of his former students say he was the best teacher they ever had.

As if those jobs were not enough, he also farmed -- full-time -- with his father on their adjoining farms. Together they raised livestock, potatoes, hay and various grains. He enjoyed working alongside his four sons as they grew older -- many who still farm the land today.

Even though he retired from teaching, he never retired from farming. He had a great passion for raising sheep, and every year always seemed to make at least one a pet. When he was no longer able to physically work on the farm, he continued to have strong input on every aspect of the daily operations -- and he continued to keep the farm books until his death.   

Of all the jobs he had, the role he loved the most was being a family man. His wife, kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids were the most important thing in his life. He loved them fiercely and always got the biggest joy from seeing them.

He was an exemplary role model; the finest example of a husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, teacher and friend. He lived his life with a quiet dignity and grace.

He is survived by: his children, Marjorie (John) Guyer of Wapello, IA; Lawrence Crowder, John (Karen) Crowder, Paul Crowder (Patty of Pueblo, CO), Stan (Jeannie) Crowder and Kathleen (Tim) Johnson, all of Alamosa; his siblings, Dwight (Anne) Crowder of Las Cruces, NM; Thelma Cooper of Arvada; Barbara Armstrong of Alamosa; and Lois (Bob) Wesley of Las Cruces, NM; 18 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren and one on the way; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Roland is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dawn.

A private Graveside Service will be held on Saturday, April 11 -- his 92nd birthday -- in the Alamosa Cemetery. There he will be laid to rest, next to his wife. A public Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.

Rogers Family Mortuary is in care of the arrangements. To leave words of comfort, memories, remarks and condolences for Roland’s family, please visit