Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 19, 2018
Roland Eustace Peixotto
1926 - 2018
Col. Roland Eustace Peixotto FALMOUTH - Col. Roland
Eustace Peixotto, US Army, retired, has made his final change
of station, dying peacefully at his home in Falmouth, Maine,
on Oct. 9, 2018 from complications of Parkinson's Disease.
Born to BG Eustace Maduro Peixotto and his wife, Catharine,
in 1926 at the Presidio of San Francisco, the second of three
boys, Roland enjoyed a typical Army childhood living in
officer's quarters from Ft. Warren, Wyo., to Ft. Bragg, N.C. In
1936, the family transferred from Ft. McKinley in the Philippines
to Ft. McKinley, Maine, by way of a boat and train tour of Japan and China. On Oct. 16, 1943,
while a student at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.
Roland went on a blind date with Catherine "Kitty" Otterman, an event which marked the
beginning of their 75 years together. They were married in 1949 upon his graduation from the
United States Military Academy at West Point. As the first couple of the '49ers to wed in the
cadet chapel, their wedding was immortalized and seen by movie goers around the country
in a CBS Newsreel.
Commissioned into the infantry, Roland's first major assignment was with the 33rd Infantry at
Ft. Kobbe in the Panama Canal Zone where his and Kitty's older two sons Randy and John
were born. A subsequent assignment at Ft. Gordon, Ga., brought the birth of their third son,
Bob. Other highlights of his distinguished military career include assignments with the 31st
Infantry, 9th Division in Korea; with the Cuba Branch of Army Intelligence at the Pentagon
during the Cuban Missile Crisis; with the Inspector General's Office in Heidelberg, Germany;
and as the Province Senior Advisor in Binh Long, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, a helicopter
carrying Roland and several others crashed in Viet Cong territory. Despite injuries to his
back which would pester him the rest of his life and armed with only a pistol, Roland set out in
the dark to find help, eventually signaling a passing search helicopter with a spark from his
nearly empty zippo lighter. His last few Army assignments brought him to the world of
computing and he retired as Commander of the Computer Systems Command Support
Group at Ft. Lee, Va., in 1978. Roland's military commendations include the Legion of Merit
with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Soldier Medal, Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Joint
Retirement finally allowed Roland and Kitty to move full time to their farm in West Topsham,
Vt., a place Roland described in a letter home from Vietnam as the best place in the country.
Roland found good use for his Army computer experience at Dartmouth College as Director
of Administrative Computing where he helped the college become an early adapter of
widespread student computer use and ensured the younger members of his family were
exposed early to Apple computers. He retired from Dartmouth in 1991.
Roland continued to serve even after he retired from the Army. He famously went to a
community meeting in 1978 thinking he might be asked to join the board and came home a
few hours later elected president of the Tri-Village Fire Department, a position he held for 13
years. Over the next 30 years, Roland would also serve as treasurer of the fire department
and of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Barre, Vt., as town and school auditor, as a
trustee and treasurer of the Valley Health Center and Little Rivers Health Care, as a justice of
the peace, and as a snowmobile safety instructor. Roland was awarded the 2005 Town
Citizen Award by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
Around the farm, following a morning game of cribbage with Kitty, Roland enjoyed the
endless projects necessary to keep the place in working order. He could often be found in his
shop, where among many other things he built replicas of their old New England farmhouse
as doll houses for his granddaughters, or in the barn muttering and sputtering over some
piece of equipment.
'Consarntut!' was a favorite invective directed at stubborn bolts. He taught his grandchildren
to walk the brook after a good day's work and to drive his Massey Ferguson and John Deer
tractors in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. Roland loved dogs and in moments of
idleness, the dogs knew to position themselves under his hand for unceasing head-pats and
ear scratches. With Kitty, Roland maintained strong connections to his West Point
classmates, hosting and attending '49er gatherings across New England and around the
world. In 2006, Roland and Kitty moved to Ocean View in Falmouth, Maine, their 27th move
together, the 35th of Roland's life.
Roland is survived by his beloved wife, Kitty, his younger brother LTG Ernest Peixotto (U.S.
Army, ret.) and his wife Libby; Syl, the widow of his eldest son Randy; son John and his wife
Lynn; son Bob and his wife Susie; grandchildren Becca, John and his wife Sonya, Kristin,
Chris and his wife Sveta, Betsy and her husband Mark, and Rob and his wife Kelsie; and 4
great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his elder brother COL James Maduro Peixotto
(USA, ret) and his son Lt. Col Roland Eustace Peixotto, Jr (USAF) who was killed in the line
of duty in 1992.
A private memorial service was held at The Episcopal Church of St Mary in Falmouth and
Roland will be interred with full military honors at a later date.
His family will think of him in West Topsham, sitting on the back porch he built himself,
watching the light fade and the seasons change on the hills across the brook.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Roland's life and service are invited to make
The Tri-Village Fire Department
447 VT Route 25
West Topsham, VT 05086
or the West Point Association of Graduates
L;Funeral Jones Rich Barnes
Arrangements under the direction of:
Lindquist Funeral Home
1 Mayberry Ln | Yarmouth, ME 04096 | (207) 846-4011