The family will continue to update this page with information about his life, passions, lessons, and experiences. If you are able and find it in your heart to contribute, funds from this campaign will be used to cover Tony’s end-of-life expenses, medical expenses, and to the benefit of his widow Pamela as our family searches to find a new normal. Please contribute if you are able.
Also, the family would love to hear about your memories, photos and stories about Tony. I'll be happy to add them to this page and to a memorial we are creating on his behalf. You can email them to [email redacted] and I will post them as soon as possible.
Tony Buddy Rolland was born on August 7, 1950 , and pass away on October 7, 2018 while fighting an year-long battle with liver cancer. He was 68 years young and loved every day he was alive. Tony is survived by his wife, of 45 year, Pamela, his daughter Shannon and his son Christian. He will forever live-on in the hearts of his grandchildren Zachary and Samantha.
Tony was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis just prior to 2017. In February of 2017 he batted a severe case of sepsis at St. Jude Medical Center ICU. In true to life Tony Rolland fashion, he fought -- and he won. Later that year, in October of 2017, he consulted with specialist about the possibility of a liver transplant -- but ultimately was deemed necessary at the time. Also, blood tests showed he was cancer free. Tony was seen in January of 2018 where he received a scan on his lungs for a developing cough -- the image showed abnormalities near the liver (discovered by accident) and within days was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of liver cancer. Within just a couple months the cancer metastasized taking control of his of his liver and moved into his heart. Doctors told him in Feb. 2018 that he had less than 5-months to live.
Tony didn't take that news lying down -- he fought back -- and fought back hard. He immediately elected the best chemo therapy available but that proved to be unsuccessful after two months of treatment. The doctors again told him he has two months or less to live --Tony fought back again and with shear will and love for life he surpassed all the doctor's estimations. Battle after battle, he continued to fight -- first his gallbladder, then varices, and then kidney function. He was a true inspiration to so many people fighting adversity; his doctors lovingly nickname him the "Energizer Bunny" for his resiliency and staying power. Tony loved each and every day with his family, friends, and colleagues.
Tony truly loved people, he loved giving and he had so much knowledge to share. My father had a fire in his belly that only a close family member would know. He was determined to know more, to see more, to do more and to love more than anyone before him. He worked tirelessly every day to make his dreams and the dreams of so many other come true. There is no doubt we lost a great soul to early – but aren’t all the greats like that?
Tony’s career stated at the young age of fifteen (15) where he worked at Burger Chief learning the food/restaurant business. He loved the owner and is forever indebted to him for teaching him the business aspects of running a successful restaurant.
Tony was later enlisted in the service when he turned 18, he served his country proudly before being honorably discharged short of a year’s service.
Tony then went on to join a company called Burger King Corporation where he ascended very quickly from restaurant manager to general manager to area director to Executive Vice President before making a decision to become a Burger King franchisee in 1988.
As a Burger King franchisee, he built numerous restaurants, was the head of the National Restaurant Association and even expended into franchising Del Taco restaurants.
In 2003 Tony found his new calling with Panera Bread, a growing name in the restaurant community and fifteen years later he built out a significant geography of Panera Restaurants in the Southern California region. And the people – he loves each and every one of his colleges and students. He loved it so much that he continued to see his mentorship responsibilities through till the end – finding it impossible to say goodbye.
Pictures of Tony over the years:
Working Tony in his younger years.
Tony with his new Daughter-In-Law (2006)
Tony at Christmas (2010)
Tony as a new Grandpa (2012)
Grandpapa Tony's First Halloween (2012)
Who's gotten this look from Tony before? (2012)
Tony Pumpkin Patch (2014)
Tony's a Grandpa -- again... (2014)
Tony's 68th Birthday Celebration [Video] (2018)
We will be adding more stories and video of Tony in the coming days.
DonationsSee top donations
- Shawn Utke
- Pat MELLOR
- Lynn Gonzales
- Chuck Chapman
- Tina Smith
Fundraising team: Rolland Family (3)
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more