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Roland "Rollie" Hammerstedt

HAMMERSTEDT, Roland "Rollie" - Friday, July 21 Passed away peacefully after a hard fought battle with cancer on Friday, July 21, 2017, at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital. He is survived by his wife Shirley, and stepchildren Wendy Cook, Karen Iwanoczko (Doug), Carla Northcote-Brewer (Reg), Paula Zeaton (Lawrence) and Wayne Basso (Darlene), all his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and Dawn Basso and family. He will also be missed by Shirley's children Craig (Janet), Michael (Leanne) and their families, his many friends and aviation peers across Canada. Rollie was born in Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba, on November 5, 1931 to Bill (Wilhelm) and Helga Hammerstedt. He was predeceased by his brother Murray, his son Derek, and first wife Anne. Rollie marked many lives with his unfailing wit and wisdom. He was an entrepreneur, accomplished airplane mechanic and overall master of trades. Many have said that their planes never flew the same once Rollie retired. We're not sure if this "retirement" every actually happened, although there's record that he retired from Redditt Aviation in 1999. It was his last adventure, working and forging incredible friendships with Don Wieben and the Fairview Aircraft Restoration Society team, that would mark Rollie's final years. The project of restoring a Canso, a large amphibian aircraft built for submarine spotting during the Second World War, would draw on his encyclopedic knowledge about aircraft, as well as his tools and time. The Canso gang said that the project would never have been completed without Rollie's help, but it was finished earlier this year. Rollie was too ill with throat cancer to attend when the plane made its first flight in sixteen years this past July but his spirit was definitely there. After the flight. Don and some of the team brought memorabilia and their gratitude to Rollie at his Kenora home. It was an amazing time as they shared stories and got to see the old hanger that was so much a part of Rollie's life in Redditt. Soon after, Rollie was admitted to Kenora Hospital where he died a few weeks later. His pain ended, and his work done. The family extends heartfelt thanks to the hospital staff for their kindness and care, and to the many friends, young and old, who stopped in for visits. According to Rollie's wishes, a private family graveside service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice. It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary. - Richard Whately ALCOCK FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES (Highway 17 West Keewatin) in care of arrangements, 807-547-600013196518
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A man of vast knowledge
Posted by Ed Zaruk (Friend) On Monday, August 7, 2017
I worked under Rollie at the Redditt hangar for Ontario Central Airlines. When it came to writing the book about Barney Lamm and his fleet of Norseman, Rollie was the driving force behind the second half of the book. A lot of knowledge disappeared with that man. I count it a privilege to have recorded a small part of it in my book.
Gone but definately not forgotten
Posted by Neil and Barb Walstenl (Friend and collegue) On Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Rollie was a very talented aircraft tech. He was one of the best and always able to have the right answer for anything related to aircraft. He sure knew the Norseman & Beech 18 inside and out and rebuilt many, including all other bush panes. Rollie "Hammer" will be missed by many.We will miss him as a good friend and colleague. Our hearts go out to you Shirley.

Neil and Barb Walsten

With sympathy
Posted by Marjorie Zimmer & Paul Jackson (acquaintance) On Monday, July 31, 2017
So very, very sorry to hear of the loss of Rollie. He was a wonderful man (respectful, good listener, generous, etc.). His passing marks the end of an era in that he was a master of his craft in the aviation industry. Marj & Paul
Sorry for your loss.
Posted by David McKie (friend) On Friday, July 28, 2017
A few years ago, I contacted Rollie about some local aviation history. We met in Reditt for a "short chat"!! Three hours later I left, full of information and thankful to have met such a knowledgeable man.His knowledge and abilities kept many an aircraft flying.

You will be missed , never forgotten.

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