By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Family rallies behind children
Mother died Oct. 13, five years after father
Pam Roland 2
Terry and Pam Roland are seen in an undated family photo. - photo by Submitted
How to help

A fund has been established for Pam Pirkle Roland’s five children at Chestatee State Bank. To make a donation, visit any of the bank’s branches.
A fund has been established for the children of a 43-year-old Forsyth County widow who died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Family members said Pamela Pirkle Roland, who died Oct. 13, was diagnosed five years ago with breast cancer. Though she had a double mastectomy, the disease resurfaced this spring in her liver and bones.

Roland’s sister, Tammi Tinsley, said the fund will help support Roland’s five children, who range in age from 8 to 23, including three teenagers. The family lives in the Matt community.

“We’re trying to get everything worked out to where they have something stable, where something will be consistent for them,” Tinsley said.

She said the children who aren’t old enough to be on their own have been staying with family. They hope to be able to keep them together.

Roland’s husband, Terry Roland, died of a massive heart attack on March 11, 2005. He was 45, she said.

Tinsley described her sister as “personable” and “family-oriented.” She was heavily involved in her church, Zion Hill Baptist.

“I couldn’t say enough nice things about her,” Tinsley said. “She was just a beautiful person inside and out.”

Roland’s father, Don Pirkle, said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for his daughter at recent fundraisers and during her funeral last week.

“At her funeral service the chapel was overflowing and it just spoke volumes about her and it just really touched our hearts,” he said.

“At the benefits people really poured their hearts out for her and those children, and it was just something that we’ll never forget as long as we live.”

Pirkle said his daughter was actively involved in her children’s lives and touched the lives of many others.

“We’re just so grateful and overwhelmed for everything everybody did for her,” he said.

Pirkle said Roland was recovering from her double mastectomy when her husband died.

“She fought [the cancer] with everything she had in her body to try to overcome, but it just wasn’t God’s will and we understand that it wasn’t in his will and we accept that,” he said.

The families of Roland and her late husband have deep roots in Forsyth County.

Pirkle served as sheriff in the 1970s and Terry Roland’s family owned and operated Leon’s Food Mart on Matt Highway for more than 20 years.

Other immediate survivors include her mother, Mary Pirkle; brother, Jeff Pirkle; brother-in-law Bryan Tinsley; and mother-in-law Lavon Roland, all of Cumming.