Because of the coronavirus, a memorial service for 86-year old Rolland Dewing, formerly of Chadron is being delayed until the spring of 2021.
Online condolences may be made at www.americanmemorial.org
American Memorial Funeral Directors of Renton, WA, is in charge of arrangements for Rolland Dewing.
Rolland Lloyd Dewing was born on April 11, 1934 in Portal, North Dakota to Lloyd and Mary Dewing. He passed away on Dec 5, 2020, at his home in Renton, Washington.
Rolland was a long-time Chadron State College professor and division chairman who also became well-known for his historical research and writing.
He, his wife Delores, and their four children moved to Chadron in 1969 after he was hired to teach history and be chairman of the Division of Social Science at the college.
He was on the faculty 32 years, also serving as division chairman the first 18 years. After retiring in 2001, the Dewings returned to Washington state where both had grown up.
Rolland was perhaps best known as the author of what many consider the seminal work on the 1970’s occupation of the community of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indians Reservation of South Dakota by AIM, the American Indian Movement.
The 414-page book, “Wounded Knee: The Meaning and Significance of the Second Incident,” was initially published in 1985 and reprinted twice.
Rolland estimated he spent 2,000 hours in an eight-month time frame working on the book, after using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain some 28,000 pages of material from the federal government. The information filled 22 cardboard boxes.
He also read countless newspaper accounts, studied court documents and conducted many interviews of those who had participated in the 1973 incident, both from the AIM side and the FBI.
Rolland spun off at least a dozen papers from the book that he used to deliver talks at regional and national conferences and to write numerous articles that were printed in historical journals.
Soon after completing the Wounded Knee book, Dewing was the lead author in researching and writing Chadron’s centennial history that was published in 1986 when the community was celebrating its 100th anniversary.
He also was the co-author of “A Pioneer’s Dream Come True,” a history of the Mirage Flats Irrigation Project, and wrote the Chadron Rotary Club’s history.
Rolland was among the founders and participants of the Phi Alpha Theta History Fraternity’s weekly program which for more than 25 years served as an outlet for faculty members, government officials and many others who had information to share.
Dolores Dewing, in addition to raising their 4 children, taught music in the Chadron elementary schools for 24 years.
Survivors include their children Bridget, Dean and Jim, all graduates of Chadron High, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Daughter Amy died in 2002.