The Pilot, January 3, 2011
Roland Arrigoni, 76, of Pine Horse Manor, in Vass, died suddenly on Saturday,
Jan. 1, 2011.
A funeral Mass in celebration of Mr. Arrigoni’s life will be held
at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church,
Southern Pines, with Monsignor Jeffrey Ingham officiating.
Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
A visitation was held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Cox Memorial
Funeral Home and Crematory, Vass.
Born April 29, 1934, in Chicago, Ill., he was the son of the late Albert
and Ida Ricci Arrigoni. His family moved to Albuquerque, N.M., when he
was young, and his parents died shortly thereafter. He played baseball
and football at the University of New Mexico. He excelled in baseball
as a catcher and signed a contract to play farm league ball for the New
York Yankees; however, he was drafted into the Army before he could play
After serving two years in the Army at Fort Bliss, Texas, he was hired
as a freshman football coach at Florida State under Tom Nugent, and in
1959 followed Nugent to the University of Maryland as an assistant football
coach. His football coaching highlights included working with now-ESPN
sports commentator Lee Corso; signing Joe Namath to play at Maryland but
ultimately securing Namath’s spot at the University of Alabama under
Coach Bear Bryant; and recruiting the first African-American football
player, Darryl Hill, to play in the ACC.
While in Maryland, he met and married Mary Ann Speno and decided to use
his recruitment skills in non-sports-related work. He gained employment
at the Southern Railway and worked his way to the post of senior assistant
vice president of personnel at Norfolk Southern Railway.
Having retired in 1992, he took up permanent residence at his home that
he named “Pine Horse Manor” in Vass, a residence he and Mary
Ann built in 1988.
He and Mary Ann, upon retirement, built, developed and operated a par-3
golf gourse, named Pine Horse Golf Club, on their property. Roland loved
golf and devoted himself and his resources to helping others, especially
children, learn the sport.
In 2003, he helped found the inaugural chapter of The First Tee in the
state of North Carolina in Moore County.
Many Saturday mornings, coach Roland, alongside his family, would host
The First Tee at his par 3. The golf course closed in 2005, and Roland
and Mary Ann spent their spare time together, devoting themselves to their
children and grandchildren.
Roland is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 45 years, Mary Ann; his
children, Margaret (Mia) Lorenz and her husband, John, of Whispering Pines,
Al Arrigoni and his wife, Paige, of Shallotte, Lara Arrigoni, of Mooresville,
and Roland Edward Arrigoni, of Beckley, W.Va.; five grandchildren, Matthew
Lorenz, Emily Arrigoni, Nicole Lorenz, AJ Arrigoni and Deven Arrigoni;
and his older brother and mentor, Albert Arrigoni and wife, Rena, and
their two children, Regina and Annette Arrigoni, all of Albuquerque, N.M.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The First Tee, 425 S. Legacy
Trail, St. Augustine, FL 32092.
Online condolences may be made at www.coxmemorialfuneralhome.com.
The family has entrusted services to Cox Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory