Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Honorable. Dutiful. Fair. Loyal. Leader. Loved & respected by many.
Douglas Arnold Rollin, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and mentor, suddenly passed away at home in Albany, OR on March 14th, 2023. He was 79 years old.
Arnold was born in Colorado on January 11, 1944, the only son of Arnold Wight Rollin and Rita Frances “Frankie” McElvain Strait. Arnold was preceded in death by his parents, his stepmother Irene L Rachor (Rollin), surrogate parents Clyde and Elaine Hoggan, and brother-in-spirit Fred Crawford. He is survived by his wife, Sunny Welles, his daughter, Allison Rollin (Hudson), son-in-law Eli Hudson, and three grandsons, Isaiah, Phoenix, and Griffin.
Early Life & Music A self-described military brat, Arnold spent his childhood bouncing from one Air Force base to another with his parents. He recalled living in poverty, picking discarded potatoes off the runway with his mother to get by on food. During his senior year at Rincon High School, his parents began their “rancorous divorce.” It was at this time that Arnold met Fred Crawford through the school choir. The two of them bonded over their love of folk music. He found solace in their relationship, and they quickly became best friends for life. Arnold described him as “the brother I never had”. Soon, he and Fred started their first band, “The Voyagers,” with their friend Bobby Dawson, but it didn’t last long. After a brief stint at the University of Arizona on a music scholarship where he “mostly fooled around,” Arnold then moved to Hollywood and soon joined The Young Americans, the first show choir in the US. He toured with the YA and Johnny Mathis for 3 years and performed on The Dean Martin Show, among significant others of the time. While in L.A., Arnold met Clyde and Elaine Hoggan who took him under their wing and “adopted” him into their family. This gave him two younger sisters: Heather and Robin. Arnold warmly referred to Clyde and Elaine as his “surrogate parents.” He lived with the family for about two years, but his relationship with them lasted for the rest of his life. After touring with the YA, Arnold formed a band called “The New Establishment” with Rick Ward (bass), Michael Alley (rhythm guitar), Ron Wilson (drummer of “Wipe Out” fame), and his future first wife, Vicki Lemon (Rankin). Arnold was the group’s arranger and lead guitarist. The band soon landed a contract with Disney, sponsored by Coca-Cola, providing entertainment for park guests. Vicki recalls a grueling schedule, playing “...7 sets a day of 45 mins each.” After Disneyland, the group toured across the country with Fess Parker and played at numerous rodeos while simultaneously playing club gigs. One such club was owned by an “Italian fraternity group.” Arnold recalled this gig as a particularly harrowing experience, which made for an amusing story decades later. The band folded after six years, and Arnold & Vicki settled down in Azusa, CA.
Citrus College & Student Affairs Career Arnold’s roots at Citrus Community College ran deep and began with his first love - music. In 1973 he starred in the musical “Orphans” at the Citrus auditorium and taught a songwriting workshop on campus two years later. As a student, he worked the night shift stocking the bookstore and was later promoted to night manager. He then became the Associated Student’s bookkeeper and an accounting professor. It was around this time he met his second and current wife, Sunny Welles. From the accounting department, he took a position within the Student Affairs office and, during that time, earned a Doctorate in Education Degree (EdD) from the University of La Verne. Arnold was highly respected in the field and served several terms as president of the California Community College Student Affairs Association. He also helped lay the foundational groundwork for what is now the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. He retired as the Associate Dean of Students in 2007.
Impact & Legacy Arnold considered his career in Student Affairs as one of his greatest achievements. His longtime secretary, Teri Shamhart, recalls of his retirement party, “...there were more students than administrators in attendance. He garnered the respect and admiration from his students because he gave of himself, his knowledge, and the most valuable “his time.”” His former leadership student-turned-colleague, Adrienne Thompson, said, “He mentored so many people in student development and leadership. I don’t think there’s any way we could ever adequately say how much he did for so many people.” For many students, he was like a second father. A common thread among many was his ability to listen and help people solve problems. His nephew-in-law, Devon, writes, “...he could always talk about a topic that would help me see it from a new perspective.” Teri Shamhart writes, “He taught the students how to think through a problem; he didn't just tell them what they needed to do or how to do it. He taught them there were two sides to every conversation and how to respect both sides.” Longtime friend and confidant Skip Fotch writes, “...we could talk and come up with proactive ways of sorting [things] out and finding ways of supporting one another.” And in the end, he recalls being able to “face situations with a broader view and discover creative resolutions.” In his retirement, Arnold founded a college scholarship for emerging leaders within the student government at Citrus College and advocated for bond funding for the Linn-Benton Community College. He and his wife, Sunny, also founded The Grateful Nation Scholarship for female OSU students with military service. Arnold had revered his father, an Air Force veteran, and wanted to follow in his footsteps regarding military service, but was unable to, having had rheumatic fever as a child. Regardless, a sense of duty was something that he carried with him throughout his life. As such, The Wounded Warrior Project became a charity of choice. Arnold is fondly remembered for his quick-witted yet sometimes dark and earnest sense of humor. A quality he said he inherited from his father. His laughter and the tears of laughter he brought to others filled many rooms. Brother-in-law Ken Welles recounts, “One of my favorite memories of him will always be when he and Mom were at Ghost Ranch and she asked him if she could borrow a broom. His instant response was, "Why, are you going somewhere?" Even Mom loved that one.” Family Arnold married Vicki Lemon (Rankin) in 1969. They were married for 12 years and had their daughter, Allison, in 1981. They amicably divorced two years later. As a father, Arnold was a boulder within the wild ebb and flow of his daughter’s life. He dutifully fulfilled his role as a provider and a pillar, even on their roughest days. He believed that women were equals and supported her journey as one. As a little girl, he read her stories of virtues and female heroines. When she could read for herself, he bestowed them upon her. He rescued her from the worst of relationships and, in 2017, gave her away in marriage to the best of them. Her fondest memories of her dad were spent sitting next to him while he sang and played his guitar. He instilled a lifelong love of music in her, especially folk music. Likewise, he and his oldest grandson, Isaiah Arnold, bonded over their shared interest in music. Isaiah enjoyed their conversations about it and will miss them. On July 14, 1984, Arnold married Sunny Welles, whom he adoringly described as “...one of the kindest people I know.” Together, they enjoyed nearly 40 years of marriage and true partnership. As a husband, he was loving, loyal, funny, protective, generous, and supportive. Sunny writes, “... [he] respected my opinions, and considered my feelings. He was fun to be with. And he loved me. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband.”
A Celebration of Life will be planned but is TBD If you would like to honor Arnold's memory, please consider making a donation to your local food bank, animal shelter, or World Central Kitchen (wck.org