Roland Joseph Santos died at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis on March 15, 2022 from complications of a lifelong battle with diabetes. It was his 43rd birthday.
The son of Manuel and Elizabeth (Talbot) Santos, Roland was born at Tufts Medical Center in Boston on March 15, 1979. The youngest of four children, he grew up in Provincetown and graduated from Provincetown High School in 1998.
Roland was an excellent student. Each year he made the honor roll and was selected for the National Honor Society from grades 9 to 11. He won a pair of book awards, sang in the chorus, and acted in the musicals Oklahoma!, Hello Dolly, and Grease. He was named an Academic All-Star by the Cape Codder.
Roland was known by many as a “big teddy bear.” He was always there for his family and friends when they needed him.
“He was a gentle soul,” Roland’s sister Bertha said, “who would walk away from trouble.” His temperament was reflected in his high school “pet peeve,” which was “disrespect for teachers.”
After high school, he briefly attended the culinary arts college at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, leaving early to help care for his mother. After returning to the Cape, he continued with cooking courses at Cape Cod Community College. His tastes were eclectic, and he was known for being able to cook anything.
Because he had a shellfish allergy, however, he felt he could not pursue a cooking career on the Outer Cape. He worked as a day-shift stocker for Stop & Shop in Provincetown and, when he moved up Cape, in Orleans.
Roland’s passion for music remained with him throughout his life. He loved singing karaoke and could often be found at the Governor Bradford in Provincetown before moving up Cape after his father’s death. Among his favorites were “old school” country songs by Kenny Rogers, Patsy Cline, and Garth Brooks.
He also played guitar and keyboards, but only for his own enjoyment. After he moved to Harwich and later to Chatham, he would return to Provincetown occasionally for karaoke with his friends.
Roland is survived by his sisters, Bertha Kacergis of Wellfleet and Carol Moss of Indiana, and his brother, Edmund Santos, and wife Sandra of Everett. He was the cherished uncle of Aaron Kacergis, Brandy Moss, Emma Santos, and Matthew Kacergis.
He was predeceased by his father, who was known as “Manny Boy Blue” Santos, and his mother, Elizabeth, of Provincetown.
The family extends thanks to Cape Cod Hospital for the care Roland received in his final days. Services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Roland’s honor to the Joslin Diabetes Center, One Joslin Place, Boston 02215.
To share a memory or leave an online condolence for the family, visit gatelyfuneralservice.com.
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