W. Roland Felts, 88, passed from this life into the presence of the Lord yesterday, June 14, 2012, in Niles, Michigan.
Felts was a composer, arranger, keyboard artist, and music lover who had a significant impact on the world of gospel music through his work with the Rodeheaver Hall-Mack Music company and the Rodeheaver Schools of Music in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Full details will be published when the obituary is available, but Felts has a significant legacy of published compositions and arrangements, primarily for keyboard and choir. Perhaps his best-known anthem is a setting of “Come Thou, Almighty King.” He originally worked closely with composer/arranger B. D. Ackley at the Rodeheaver company and for many years he was the keyboard accompanist for Ruth Rodeheaver Thomas’ radio program in Warsaw, Indiana, and he also spent many years as a church organist, including a long and significant ministry at the Winona Lake (IN) Grace Brethren Church.
Felts’ wife, Verna Mae, was head of piano instruction at the Grace College music department in Winona Lake for many years. In retirement, the Felts family lived on a lake north of Warsaw, and were faithful attenders at MasterWorks Festival programs and other musical events. Their daughter, Alicia Felts-Wedertz, is well known in the northern Indiana and southern Michigan area for her harp playing and music instruction.
Arrangements are with the MacHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel of Warsaw, Indiana.