SWANVILLE — Roland H. Knowlton Sr., loving husband, father of five, went to his heavenly home June 20, 2021, at the age of 87. He was born in Northport May 17, 1934, to Alta M. F. Gray.

Roland was preceded in death by his mother, Alta M. F. Gray, his stepfather, Samual Gray, his brother James Falzarono and his grandsons, Brandon Maddocks and Jason S. Knowlton.

He grew up in the home of his Aunt Barbara and Uncle Paul Mahoney, running in the woods of Northport with his two brothers, Jack and James. In 1953 he traveled with his cousin to Virginia, where he met his perfect lady, Sarah C. Simpson. He married her less than three weeks later. He paid the justice of the peace $3 and vowed that it was worth every penny.

Sarah and Roland celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this past February with their family gathered at their home in Swanville. Their love is the purest example of commitment and friendship. Through good times and bad they ended their day with whispered conversations and a kiss until the very end.

Roland was an uneducated man, yet the smartest man many had ever met. He could engineer and build just about anything and was sought after by many for his creations, ideas and wisdom. He was an accomplished finish carpenter and worked for many years in that trade in both Virginia and Maine. He left school when he was young before learning to read; he always regretted that. So in his early 50s decided he would teach himself. After working in the woods all day he would sit at his kitchen table nightly practicing, calling out to his children for help when he would get stumped on a word. He eventually was able to read his Bible every day, which was very important to him.

He lived and passed on his belief that you could reach any goal and overcome any obstacle with strong determination, hard work and prayer. His greatest loves were God and his family. He knew each one of his children, their spouses, children and grandchildren by name and always wanted to be kept up on what was going on in their lives. He shared his experiences and wisdom with all whenever he could. He always had a kind word for everyone; he forgave and loved unconditionally.

He is survived by his loving wife, Sarah Catherine; his children and their spouses, Roland Jr. and Pam Knowlton, Linwood and Carol Knowlton, Catherine and Tom Ciofolo, Benjamin and Sandy Knowlton, and Alta and Brent Seekins. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren plus three on the way, and three great-great-grandchildren, plus one more coming soon. He is also survived by his brother Jack; the southern family of many brothers- and sisters-in-law and their families, and some special lifelong friends.

On June 21, Roland took one last trip on his jitterbug as he was lowered to his final resting place in the Knowlton Family Cemetery with his family attending. He was a humble man and didn’t want any special services, though he agreed that a good barbecue picnic was always appropriate. So per his wishes, family and friends are invited to share stories, laughter and good food at a celebration of life barbecue at noon Saturday, July 10, at 36 Veazie Road, Swanville.