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Birth Announcement

Roland McKinley

RONAN — Roland Brooks McKinley, 81, passed away on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, at his home in Ronan, Montana after a brief battle with lung cancer. He was born on Nov. 23, 1942, in Dodson, Montana, the son of Lawrence and Thelma (Hart) McKinley. Brooks lived his early years in Harlem and Savoy, Montana, with his parents, three sisters and two brothers. Brooks, as he was known by family and friends, ran the Pablo Bar for 23 years. He loved the bar and the people that came in. Prior to the bar, he farmed and ranched in some of the most beautiful country in Montana – Charlo, Lost Prairie, Fort Shaw, Sun River, Geyser – and spent three years farming in northern Minnesota. 

Brooks was a reader and history lover who always won the Trivial Pursuit yellow pie slice immediately. He loved to meet new people and get their stories, and rarely found someone whose people he did not know – especially if they had roots in eastern Montana. An animal lover, Brooks doted on many spoiled dogs, cats and cows over his lifetime.

Brooks was preceded in death by his parent; his sister, Marlis Walls, and brothers, Lawrence and Ted McKinley.

Brooks is survived by his sisters, Donna Schultz and Jetta McKinley; his wife of 56 years, Gloria McKinley; children, Lawrence “Tater” McKinley and Rebel McKinley; three granddaughters; one grandson; and two great-grandsons. 

Brooks has chosen to be cremated and his ashes will be spread in his beloved Montana countryside at a later date. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at: 

Arrangements are under the care of Shrider – Thompson Funeral Home.


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