Paul Dean Rollins was born to Earl and Wanda Rollins in Gasville, Arkansas, in Rollins Hospital on October 28, 1942. His parents were passing through, and so was he!! He died on September 4, 2021, at the age of 78 from Covid-19 and pneumonia even though he had been vaccinated for both. He had a brother, Roger, who was 18 months older than he. Unfortunately, Roger was a bookworm and Paul was not. As a result, Roger was often tormented by Paul to play and run and joke. Paul was a lively child, but not hyperactive. Although not a bookworm like Roger, he was conscientious about his school work and was not a procrastinator like the girl he finally married.
When he was about seven years old, his parents accepted a call to mission work in India. They sailed on a large freighter from San Francisco and stopped at various ports - Singapore, Philippines, etc. - before reaching their destination in India. They had been told they’d be in northern India which tended to be cool. On their way, the Japanese invaded Burma, now Surinam. As a result of this invasion, missionaries in Burma were transferred to northern India and the Rollins family was placed in southern India which was extremely hot, making the clothing they brought with them totally unsuitable. The small town in which they made their home was Kudi Kadu. The language was Tamil. It was here that Paul’s father was principal of a new boarding high school, the E. D. Thomas Memorial High School. These were happy days for Paul. He and his brother had three pet goats – Letoos, Streebee Soobs, and Bee Bee Soup. No one knows how they came up with these names. Perhaps it was Paul’s lively sense of humor. Since there was no elementary-middle school here, they went to school hundreds of miles from home in northern India in the Himalayas, at Vincent Hill School. This was very hard on them to be so far from home at such a young age and, of course, their mother. It was here that Paul encountered a tiger early one evening when he was walking on the school grounds.
When returning to the States, they traveled through the Middle East and Europe, finally making their home in Santa Rosa, California. He attended Monterey Bay Academy his last two years of high school and then went to Pacific Union College (P.U.C.) in Angwin, California, near the Napa Valley, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. At P.U.C. he was treasurer of the Student Union during his senior year, treasurer of his junior class and treasurer of the publication board which published the Diogenes Lantern, the yearbook, and the Campus Chronicle, the college newspaper. He also played the trombone in various groups. After graduating from P.U.C. in 1964, he attended U.C.L.A. where he graduated with a Masters of Social Work in 1966. Upon receiving his Master’s degree, he worked at L.A. - U.S.C. Medical Center until 1973.
It was on October 31, 1965, that he met an attractive young woman, Barbara Jenkins, at a church harvest party in Yucaipa, CA. She was actually with another man at the party, but he started visiting with her anyway. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and romance. They eventually were married the day after Christmas in 1966 in a small chapel (Wee Kirk of the Heather) in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, and went to Death Valley on their honeymoon. In meeting on Halloween, marrying in a cemetery and then going to Death Valley, some felt they got off to a deathly start. But, what did they know; their marriage lasted for almost 55 years. Paul wanted to get married in 1966, because Barbi was the 66th girl he’d dated!! As you can see, he was very busy, and had a wonderful sense of humor.
They made their home in Glendale, California, but soon realized they had left their first love - Jesus. Their conversion experience convinced them they needed to leave the city and live in the country. They had no idea where they would go, but put their home on the market anyway thinking it would take at least 6-12 months to sell, giving them ample time to find work elsewhere. So they listed their home on a Thursday and it sold three days later on Sunday. They were ecstatic knowing that God was leading them even though they didn’t know where. Paul had an interview with the Coos County Mental Health Department shortly afterwards and accepted the position of Program Manager where he worked for 23 years until retiring in 1996.
His retirement was the result of three failed lumbar surgeries. Barbi brought him home from a Portland hospital on a mattress in a van, and thought he’d never get out of his hospital bed at home, but God had other plans for him. He slowly healed as a result of much prayer, spiritual anointing, and the implant of a morphine pain pump.
Another remarkable incident occurred around the year 2,000 when he was diagnosed with myelodysplasia and told he had only 32 months to live. He slowly recovered with no indication he’d ever had this deadly cancerous disease, going on to live 21 more years – a miracle in itself.
He was very active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church acting as treasurer for 23 years, both elder and head elder for many years, and helping with the upkeep of the grounds and maintenance of the Church. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, he was very active in helping with the building of a new church complex which was completed in 1993.
A good friend described Paul as an anchor in this turbulent world, devoting himself to the service of King Jesus by example and voice, and leading the church with a steady hand.
Paul is survived by his wife, Barbara Mae Rollins; a nephew, Roger Rollins, Jr; two nieces, Sheila and Dora; a great nephew; two great nieces and numerous cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Wanda Rollins and his brother, Roger, Sr.
Paul loved the Lord and his Church with all his heart and served the Lord by reaching out and helping others in need. He looked forward to Jesus’ second coming and being reunited with loved ones who went asleep in Jesus. Having the assurance of Jesus’ second coming, he was not fearful of death. Now he is resting quietly until Jesus resurrects him and takes him joyfully to heaven. If he were here today, he would encourage you to give your life to Jesus and accept Jesus’ invitation to, “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 25, at 3:00 P.M. at the Coquille Seventh-day Adventist Church. Everyone attending will be asked to wear a mask.
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