The Obit For Roland Arrigoni

Roland Arrigoni

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 ball.

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 of Vass.