It is with deep heartbreak and sadness that we announce the passing of Roland (Rolly) Chambers on December 11th, 2021 at the Pine Grove Nursing Home in Fredericton, New Brunswick, after a courageous battle with dementia starting two years ago. Born on September 13th, 1935, he was the son of the late Robert and Jesse (née Fryer) Chambers and was the loving husband of Sara "Sadie" (née MacDonald).
Rolly is the man, the myth and legend. He was bigger than life. His smile and laugh were just as big. He was a professional musician and well respected for his musical talent. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved his family’s friends like his own family. He loved music and carpentry and he loved pets. He was full of joy and happiness when he was surrounded around his family and music. He shot from the hip and stood up for what he believed in especially musically and that sometimes cost him his wages. He had a quick and blunt sense of humour and charisma and could work a room like no other. He never intentionally hurt anybody but may have hurt some feelings along the way.
He was born and raised in Toronto. He was a professional bass player and singer and backed up many stars in the 60s and 70s in Ontario and played several times at the famous Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. He played once at Massey Hall on the same show with George Jones and Gordon Lightfoot. He was influenced musically as a young boy because his mom was a leader of the Salvation Army Band. He had many amazing stories. He was hired (and sometimes fired) by the best. He shared the stage with many country music legends such as George Jones, Johnny Cash, Dave Dudley, Dottie West, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Burke, and Harry Hibbs.
Rolly and Sadie were married for 60 years and met when Sadie moved to Toronto from Cape Breton. Music was a big part of their family and they played professionally and gathered for many, many jams as well. Rolly and Sadie moved to Cape Breton in 1979. Rolly still played some music, took up carpentry and played ball. In 2010, Roly and Sadie moved to Lincoln, NB.
In addition to his wife Sadie, Rolly will be dearly missed by his children, Robin (Don) White, Darrell (Shannon) Chambers, Cheryle (Jack) Carr and Cory (Jaime) McDonald. He was the best "Papa" to his grandchildren, Shara, Tyler, Jesse, Hunter, Bobbie, Cory, Sydney, Corson, and Chase; great-grandchildren, Raya, AJ, Kalli, Carson, and Eli; sister and brother Bunny Geary and Raymond (Sharon) Chambers both of Toronto; sisters-in-law, Vera MacDonald, Theresa Perfect, Nan Chambers, Nina Chambers and Hazel Tonary; many, many nephews and nieces, relatives and friends (too many to mention) that he loved and cherished so much.
In addition to his parents, Rolly is predeceased by his brothers, Ralph, Ronnie and Walter; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Parr and Dorothy MacDonald; brothers-in-law, Herb Geary, Raymond MacDonald, Danny Perfect and Gus MacDonald.
The family would like to extend special thanks to all of the health care providers at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, Pine Grove Nursing Home, Extra-Mural and his family doctor Dr. John Richardson.
Rolly’s wonderful life will be celebrated at a later date in the summer when family and friends can gather safely.
Rolly made you feel you were the most important person in his life and you were, at that moment. He had many sayings. He loved unconditionally and he was deeply loved. As Rolly said "I love you, always have and always will".
For those who wish, remembrances may be made to the Rolly Chambers Memorial Music Fund via e-transfer at RollyChambersMusicFund@gmail.com that will go towards music programs primarily for disadvantaged children.