Roland C. Lif (Feb 6, 1919 – Dec 6, 2006) Contractor
Roland Carl Lif was born in Lockport, IL on February 6, 1919 to Swedish immigrants Waldemar and Karin Pearson Lif. He attended Lockport Central Grade School and graduated from Lockport Township High School, class of 1939. In high school he met his future wife, Ada Dollinger. They were married on December 6, 1941. The next day Pearl Harbor was bombed and WWII began. His time as an apprentice carpenter was put on hold when he was drafted into service on March 26, 1942. During the war he earned the rank of Sergeant. He spent time in intelligence and eventually as an instructor, where he was responsible for contact and coordination of reconnaissance crews in combat and acting as a scout car commander. His Decorations included: 1 Service Stripe, 1 Overseas Service Bar, an American Campaign Medal, a European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon with bronze battle star and a good conduct medal.
He was discharged from service on December 30, 1945 and came home to his wife and new-born daughter Donna. He went back to work as a carpenter for local contractor Henry Ogren. In 1955 he and Ada opened R.C. Lif Construction Company. Roland acted as general contractor and Ada ran the office. In the beginning, he built both residential and commercial but by the 1960’s he was specializing in commercial construction. In late 1963, his son Ronald was born.
Roland was very active in both the local and business community. He was a member of Lockport Lions Club, VFW Post 5788, American Legion Post 18, the Lockport Moose and was a volunteer fireman for the Lockport Fire Protection District for more than 40 years. He regularly attended the Swedish Covenant Church where he sang in the choir.
Some of the noted buildings Roland was general contractor for include; Lockport Fire Dept. Station #1 on 9th Street (which was torn down in 2016 to make way for a new larger station), Summit Plaza, the old post office at 9th & Hamilton St. (now Midwest Digital Blueprint), the former rectory of St. Joseph Church, and Lockport Fire Station # 2 in Crest Hill. R.C. Lif Construction was also a major contractor for Lockport’s Texaco Refinery and Andrew Corporation in Orland Park, IL.
Roland & Ada retired from the business in 1986 and were able to spend the next 20 years enjoying the life they had built. He and Ada traveled many places, including regular trips to their summer home in Pentwater, Michigan. Roland passed away in the Lockport home they had built on December 6, 2006, their 65th wedding anniversary, at age 87. Ada Dollinger Lif passed away November 1, 2015 at age 94.