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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.