Dewey E. Rohl of Elma, a retired State Police investigator and a veteran of the Attica Prison riot, died unexpectedly Saturday of heart failure after surgery in Buffalo General Hospital. He was 77.
Born in Lancaster, he played all sports in high school and was one of the few who played football all four years. Offered a football scholarship, he chose instead to join the Marine Corps. He received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Korea.
Mr. Rohl joined the State Police in 1962 and was stationed in the Adirondack Mountains for two years before being transferred to the Buffalo area. While stationed in Clarence, he was promoted to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations in 1967 and remained as an investigator until he retired in 1987. He was the first State Police responder at the Attica riot. He received commendations from three superintendents during his 25-year career.
In retirement, he worked at Cotton Nursery in Elma, delivering bushes and trees and inventing his own botanical names.
He especially enjoyed hunting and fishing. As part of a four-man team, he helped fence in 20 acres of land now known as the Java Beagle Club. He and his friends live-trapped rabbits and then stocked the land for field trials. The new field house contains his old kitchen cupboards.
Surviving are his wife of 50 years, the former Diane Spink; two daughters, Cynthia Chassy and Victoria; and three sisters, Doris Ahlstrom, Virginia Hastrich and Jacqueline Molitoris.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Zubrick-Amigone Funeral Home, 5615 Broadway, Lancaster.