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Roland L. Boller Sr., owned Clarence tire business <br> Oct. 27, 1934 -- Feb. 5, 2009

Roland L. Boller Sr., a former Clarence town councilman who ran his own tire repair and sales business for 52 years, died Thursday in a hospital near Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 74.

A Buffalo native, he graduated from East Aurora High School.

Self-employed, he married Shirley Ann Sharpe, his wife of 54 years.

Mr. Boller first owned a gas station that he operated for about six years at the corner of Main Street and Sheridan Drive in Clarence.

For more than 50 years, he owned and ran R.L. Boller Distributors, a tire repair, sales and service company that closed in 2007. He was a longtime member of the Clarence Chamber of Commerce, which he helped start.

Mr. Boller was a prominent face in Clarence politics and community affairs for years. He served eight years over two terms as Clarence town councilman, spanning from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Although he sought the supervisor post, he did not achieve that. In the September 1985 primary, he lost the Republican nomination by what was reported as a paper-thin margin.

Prior to being elected to the Town Board, Mr. Boller served on the Clarence Planning Board for 12 years. He also championed sewer and water improvements during his town service and was instrumental in getting a bicycle path developed from Clarence to Amherst. He also was active in the effort to reface Eastern Hills Mall.

His wife noted that he took a great interest in helping move the original log cabin to Main Street from Goodrich Road and helping rebuild it. Since last summer until his death, Mr. Boller was involved in helping the town begin restoration efforts for a Conestoga wagon it recently purchased.

"He was a person who taught you things you never thought you'd need to learn," said his daughter, Judith Stockman.

A life member of the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Department, Mr. Boller also served as its president and was active in starting the popular Labor Day picnic. He also was a master mason of the Akron Masonic Lodge.

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include three sons, Roland Jr., Timothy and Charles; a brother, George Jr.; and a sister, Isabell Ratigan.

A service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9535 Clarence Center Road, Clarence Center.

[K/ROBINSON]

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