Honoring the Memory of

Roland Yardley IHS 1973

September 2021

Ilion High School Class of 1973 - Roland Yardley
Ilion High School Class of 1973 and Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee 2018

Roland 'Rolly' Yardley was born in 1955, the son of Roland and Ann 'Peg' (O'Conner) Yardley. He grew up in the family home on Barringer Road with his siblings, Robert 'Bob', Sharon, Gail, Lynn and Patricia. He attended Annunciation School through the eighth grade. He graduated from Ilion High School in 1973. Throughout high school, Rolly was involved in many clubs and sports teams. He played football and basketball with his mother and father as his biggest fans. Following high school, he entered SUNY Cobleskill and later was employed by Remington Arms. He attended Mohawk Valley Community College while working at the Arms. He enlisted with the United States Navy in 1977 and attended boot camp in Orlando, FL.


Ilion High School Class of 1973 - Roland Yardley
Ilion High School Class of 1973 - Roland Yardley


While on active duty, he continued studying towards a bachelor's degree. In December 1983, he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Human Resource Management. At college he met his wife, Chris, during an extracurricular dance class.

Rolly attended and graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI in 1984. He then served as a Commissioned Ensign based in San Diego. Later in the same year, he attended Damage Control School in Newport, RI. Subsequently, he was assigned on the USS David R. Ray as a Damage Control Assistant and held that position for two years in San Diego. From 1988 to 1989, he was assigned as a Navigator on the USS Niagara as a Navigator in Guam.

In January 1991, while stationed in Monterey, CA, Rolly received his master's degree from the Naval Post-graduate School. He continued his education by attending Executive Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was assigned Officer on the USS Joseph Hughes, Charleston, SC and later the home port was change to Engleside, TX. From 1993 to 1995, he was Executive Officer, on the USS Reid, stationed in San Diego with a future assignment that was attached to the 3rd Fleet Forces. He then attended Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia.

Following those deployments, Rolly resumed Naval defense work from a 'land-base' perspective, working at the Office of the Pentagon in Arlington, VA.

Rolly retired from the U.S. Navy with 24 years of service in 2001. He then continued his career as a Senior International Defense Researcher, at the Rand Corporation, in the Washington, DC office.

He authored numerous publications on: Aviation, Aircraft carrier, Surface Ship Operations, Military and Civilian Personnel Policy.

Rolly also coached his children's basketball and soccer teams. "Rolly always seemed to find the right balance between work and family life!"

March 2019 - Ilion Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees

Commander Roland Yardley was inducted to the Central Valley Academy Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018 for Professional/Career Achievement.

Roland Yardley IHS 1973 passed away on August 16, 2021, at his home, in Fairfax, VA. after a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Chris. He is also survived by a daughter, Sarah, and sons, Alex and Sam. He has two grandchildren, Abigail and Alex; children of Alex. He is survived by his siblings and their spouses; Robert and Janet (Bereza) Yardley, Herkimer; John and Sharon (Yardley) Richards, Ilion, Shawn and Gail (Yardley) Carney; Ilion, and David and Lynne (Yardley) Marhaver, also of Ilion. He is survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Roland and Ann 'Peg' Yardley and by his sister, Patricia. He will be sorrowfully missed by his family and friends.

Published with the permission of the Yardley family.


Sources -
1973 Ilion Mirror
2018 CVA Hall of Fame Induction
Publications by Roland Yardley

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