Roland Funeral Service
Roland Funeral Service lace

Warren and Amy Roland History

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Our History

In 2009, Warren and Amy Jo Roland and our staff at Roland Funeral Home celebrated our 90th Anniversary year of business in  Atlantic .  We dedicated this anniversary to Warren's father, Burdette L. Roland.  Our success is due chiefly to Burdette and his wife Martha and our staff, as well as to those who have been supportive and have entrusted us with the final care of their loved ones.

Looking Back...

In about 1900, J.L. Winne established the J.L. Winne Furniture and Undertaking Company at 315 Chestnut Street.  The business was purchased in 1919 by Henry Baxter and Jack Peacock becoming the Peacock and Baxter Furniture and Undertaking Company.

Roland Funeral Service Staff History

The history of the Roland Funeral Home in Atlantic started in 1919, when Burdette L. Roland was employed by Baxter and Peacock to work as the funeral director and embalmer.  Born in Corning, Burdette had received his license in 1916 and had previously worked in Oskaloosa, Boone and Ames.

In 1922 when Burdette bought a one-half interest in the business and the business name changed to Roland-Peacock and Baxter.  The business remained at their main street location, 315 Chestnut Street, until in 1926 when Burdette purchased a property at Fifth and Elm streets and moved a house to make room for what has since then been the Roland Funeral Home.

This was the first building in Iowa to be built especially as a funeral home. It featured a chapel, private family room and a modern preparation room for the care of the deceased.  At that time, it wasn't popular to remove bodies from their homes, so funeral workers took their equipment to the homes to do preparation work.  Funeral services were also sometimes conducted in the home and sometimes held in churches.

For many years Roland-Peacock and Baxter operated a "modern ambulance and invalid coach" service before the city of Atlantic began an  ambulance service in 1940.

Roland Funeral Service hearse

In 1935 a north addition to the funeral home added much needed room for funeral seating, visitation rooms and a music room.  In addition, that year, Burdette designed a cemetery tent that was made by the Manufacturing Company of Omaha. It was the first cemetery tent the company had made and today the Manufacturing Company is nationally known for producing the tents through the years.

In 1959, Burdette became sole owner after purchasing Peacock's interest in the funeral service.  The firm changed its name to Roland's Home for Funerals, and later changed it again to Roland Funeral Service.

Burdette and Martha Roland  

Burdette and his wife Martha had four sons, James, Keith, John and Warren.  James had taken mortuary training, was working at the funeral home and had married Sally Baier when he tragically died, along with his father-in-law, in an automobile accident in 1964.

Warren, the youngest of the brothers, then took mortuary training and after he received his license in 1966, came back home to assist his father in the family business. Martha had joined the funeral home staff and worked as a secretary for many years.  Additional remodeling took place, adding office space and an east entrance, as well as a four-car garage.  

In 1971 Warren and his wife, Amy, purchased half of the business from Burdette.  Then in 1973 Warren and Amy purchased the other half of the business. In 1975 Warren and Amy purchased the building from Warren's parents. 

In 1976 more remodeling added two viewing rooms, two restrooms and more seating.  The 1980's saw new services offered including a pre-recorded message giving pending funerals and service time and information.  Parking areas were expanded and a 24-hour fax service was added.   Burdette remained active, keeping his continuing education credits current  for his service in the family business until shortly before his death in 1986.

See Our Family for more current changes and further updates are related throughout our web pages.