BRIDGEPORT– Deacon Roland Joseph “Rocky” Blier died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday August 10, 2022, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 91.
“It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of Deacon Roland J. Blier,” Bishop Caggiano said in making the announcement.
“As a member of the inaugural class of Deacons in the diocese, Deacon Blier was a living sign of service who brought Christ to the workplace and to all those he accompanied in their faith journey. He was blessed with a long and fruitful life, which he freely shared with so many. Though successful in all that he did, Roland Blier found his true and deepest calling in his ministry. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Blier and for the consolation of his loving family.”
Ordained a deacon in 1978, by the Most Rev. Walter W. Curtis, second Bishop of Bridgeport, he served at St. Andrew Parish in Bridgeport and St. Thomas More parish in Darien. Deacon Blier took great joy in delivering the children’s sermons, managing to be completely compelling to the children while simultaneously delivering a pointed message to the parents.
Born in rural Van Buren, ME, to Joseph and Catherine (Ouellette) Blier, he was the fourteenth of 18 children. He attended Van Buren Boys’ High School briefly before leaving to help support his family, working odd jobs before enlisting in the Air Force in 1951.
While home visiting his parents in late 1954, he was introduced to Priscilla Violette. They were engaged by Valentine’s Day, 1955, and married in August. Three children and 19 moves later, he retired from the Air Force in 1974 with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and moved to Bridgeport, CT. His distinguished Air Force career was followed by 21 years as a logistics engineer with Sikorsky Aircraft.
Deacon Blier is remembered by family and friends for his commitment to doing good work and taking care of people and helping them get through difficulties in their lives. Among his honors and achievements are receiving a Bronze Star for his tour of duty at Bien Hoa, Vietnam; achieving the rank of Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus; and becoming a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre in recognition of his service to the Church. Additionally, he earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees well into his 50s.
Friends and family remember that in the end, when Parkinson’s took a lot of his language and his ability to tell the stories he loved to share. But what remained were phrases like, “I thank you!” “Love you, too.” And “Boy, that’s good!” along with his infectious full-face smile. He did what he always did right until the end, devotedly cheering people on and ensuring they were ok, making him a favorite among the good people who cared for him. He went peacefully, confident in a life well-lived and the love of people too numerous to name.
He is survived by his wife, Priscilla; his children, Peter Blier and wife Patty Blauner, Maggie McCarthy, and Helen Blier; 9 grandchildren: Ben Blier and wife Veronica Haakonsen, Noah Blier, Micki McCarthy, Kristin Bradbury and husband Andy, Patrick McCarthy and wife Kelly, Jackie Mizak and husband Dan, Kevin McCarthy, JB Parker-Blier, and Abbey Parker-Blier; and 6 great-grandchildren: Gabe McCarthy; Eleanor, Margaret, and George Bradbury; and Skyla and Willow Mizak.
The Funeral Mass will be held at 12 PM on Friday, August 19, 2022 at St. Andrew Church, 435 Anton St., Bridgeport, CT. It will also be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook Page. Calling Hours will take place Friday morning from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM in St. Andrew Church.
The Commerce Hill Funeral Home, 4798 Main St., Bridgeport, has been entrusted with the services. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that donations be sent to The Parkinson’s Foundation ( parkinson.org ) or Foundations In Education ( foundationsineducation.org ). For online condolences, memorial tributes and to make a donation, visit us at commercehillfh.com