Stephen J. Roland

1940 ~ 2021

Stephen J. Roland, 81, passed away peacefully on December 24th due to severe complications from his cancer treatments. Steve’s generosity, faith, and ability to see the good in everyone had a positive influence on all those who came in contact with him.

Steve was born at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, CA, and graduated from El Cerrito High School. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in France, and then graduated from Cal Berkeley with a business degree. He succeeded his father as owner and contractor of Caldwell-Roland Roofing company until his retirement, when the business was sold.

Steve’s commitment to the church was the foundation of his life. He served in many leadership capacities including Bishop and High Councilman. In 1972 he was assigned to home teach Dianne Smartt, a new member of the University Berkeley ward. They were married in the Oakland Temple in 1973.

As a church youth leader, Steve gained the most pleasure by helping young men with their Priesthood responsibilities and within Boy Scouts. He encouraged Eagle Scout projects that would benefit the community, from paving a new driveway for a handicapped woman to building a feeding platform for giraffes at the Oakland Zoo.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Eliza Roland, as well as his sister-in-law, Eeva Roland, and best friend, Robert Baer. He is survived by his cherished wife, Dianne; their two children, Jeffrey (Angela) and Elizabeth; three beloved grandchildren, Miranda, Evelyn, and Jackson; his brother, Peter; and many other loving family members.

Services will be held both in Oakland and Salt Lake City; those wishing to attend should email for dates and times.

Services in Salt Lake City will be held Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Federal Heights Ward, 1300 East Fairfax Road, SLC, Utah, with a viewing one hour prior, and can be attended via Zoom at the following link:

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Rare Trait Hope Fund, who is working to cure a genetic disorder called AGU that affects George, a 7-year-old friend of Steve and Dianne’s:


I had the privilege of meeting Steve back in the early 1980s when I attended the University Ward. Bishop Roland was always cheerful and kind and encouraging. He helped me as a first time Relief Society President to figure things out and serve others. I remember the many times he and Dianne would host some ward meeting or event at their lovely home. They served the single members of the ward faithfully and made us part of their family. I loved hearing the many examples of his kindness and service that were shared at the Oakland memorial service. He inspired me to be better. Grateful to have known Steve Roland. Sending hugs to his dear family.

- Aileen Olson

What a wonderful person—always a smile, an uplifting kind word, a helping hand!

Steve was a great Bishop when I attended University Ward; he then made me feel welcome when I returned to Oakland 1st Ward; and he
Immediately came to my rescue when I had roof leaks and was in a panic.

A bright light that will sorely be missed. My deepest sympathies for your loss, both to you,
Diane, and to your family. May The Lord surround you with His loving arms and comfort.

- Kathleen Piccardo

Steve led such a good life. He was there always helping my mother,Violet Christensen. I was so grateful for his help when she died. I could not have handled the events of that day and time without his help. II am so sorry to hear of his passing. May the Lord bless you in this time of sorrow.
Carol Christensen Steed

- Carol Christensen Steed

I am sorry for your loss. I knew Stephen at the time when my sister Eeva married his brother Peter. He was a fine young man. I pray that the good memories of him will comfort you at this time and always.
Eila Williams

- Eila Williams

Dear Dianne and family.
I pray that you will be comforted through the Lord's spirit at this tender time. My mom, Rayola Palmer, always considered Steve one of her good friends. His was a cheerful face she could count on at church.
All the best, Danna Walsh

- Danna Palmer Walsh