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Dr. Roland V. del Carmen

Obituary for Dr. Roland V. del Carmen

Long-time and honored SHSU Criminal Justice professor and mentor

Services for Dr. Roland V. del Carmen, who died Oct. 31 from pancreatic cancer, will be conducted Monday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville. Another memorial services will be conducted later in his native Philippines. He will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 11:00 a. m.

Dr. del Carmen was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Regents’ Professor Emeritus, and long-time benefactor of the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University.

He was born on Oct. 16, 1930, to a poor pastor and his wife in the southern Philippines. The third of ten children, del Carmen graduated as high school class valedictorian of Misamis Institute, then pursued his undergraduate degree as a working student at Silliman University, from which he received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Master of Comparative Law.

Dr. del Carmen then returned to his homeland as professor; administrator; and outspoken, entertaining host of Platters and Chatters, a popular nationally broadcast political commentary radio program which found him interviewing such aspirants as the infamous Ferdinand Marcos. He later returned to the United States to earn a Master of Laws from the University of California-Berkeley, then a Doctor of the Science of Law from the University of Illinois-Champaign.

After beginning his stateside academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Dr. del Carmen joined the Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Criminal Justice Center faculty in 1974, driving his young family into Huntsville on the day of the Carrasco prison siege at the Texas Department of Corrections. During his 41 years at SHSU, he relished the opportunity to teach, research, prolifically publish, and mentor.

He was, in return, awarded numerous honors including being named Distinguished Professor, Piper Professor, and Regents Professor; and is one of only three scholars to be recognized with all three top awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: the Founders Award, Bruce Smith Sr. Award, and Academy Fellow Award.

Dr. del Carmen was ever grateful for the opportunities afforded him in life and enjoyed paying it forward, particularly by supporting scholarships both at SHSU and Silliman. At the latter, his philanthropic efforts culminated in the recent establishment of the Rolando Villanueva del Carmen Honor Hall, a dormitory where excellent and underprivileged scholars live and learn together free of charge.

Dr. del Carmen was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Josefa Josie. He is survived by his second wife, Erlyn; daughter Jocelyn (Chris) Tanabe, and grandchildren Josie and Linus of Palo Alto, CA; and stepson Joey Diao and family of Celebration, FL. He is also survived by siblings Divina Himaya, Cirilo DelCarmen, Jr., Grace Nishidera, Ben del Carmen, and Gloria Dechawan; and extended family on four continents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that in-memoriam donations may be made to the United Board for the support of Silliman University. Donations can be made online https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/unitedboardor checks, payable to “United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia” (please indicate in memo line that this gift is in memory of Dr. Rolando del Carmen) can be mailed to either of two offices: The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1221, New York, NY 10115; or, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, 1/F, Chung Chi College Administration Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and condolences can be made to the family at www.shmfh.com.

About Rich Heiland

Rich Heiland, former publisher of the Huntsville Item and owner of Free Press publications, LLC, a reporting/writing firm working with media, has been a reporter, editor and publisher at several daily papers. He was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team. He taught journalism at Western Illinois University. He can be reached at freepresstx@gmail.com or 936-293-0293.

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