Roll’s lifelong commitment to community


By Emily Kremer

NORTH STAR — In the quiet town of North Star, Bill and Marcy Roll’s name is synonymous with dedication, service, and community spirit. Together, Bill and Marcy’s lives are a testament to the profound impact a few individuals can have on a community, and they are honored to serve as this year’s parade marshals at the 73rd annual North Star Picnic.

Bill, a retired teacher, wrestling coach, volunteer fire chief, auctioneer, mayor, and devoted husband, has left an indelible mark on the town. His journey began in the classrooms of Plymouth High School, where he taught for two years before dedicating 33 years to Versailles High School. At Versailles, Bill taught Physical Education and Industrial Tech. “I really enjoyed going to school every day. I liked being around the kids—they made you feel young,” Bill reminisces. His passion for education extended beyond the classroom as he coached wrestling, leading his team to numerous victories and instilling values of discipline, teamwork, and perseverance in his athletes. “The kids loved him,” remarks John Grilliot, who taught Industrial Tech alongside Bill for 33 years. “He was consistent, fair, and always on task. He was very dedicated to service and the community, much more than most people realize.”

But Bill’s commitment didn’t end at school. Following in the footsteps of his father Verla, who served as North Star’s fire chief for over 40 years, Bill joined the volunteer fire department. “When your dad’s the fire chief, you get started early,” Bill says. He attended his first fire in 1968 and was assistant fire chief from 1978-1997. When his father retired in 1997, Bill became fire chief, a position he held until his retirement in 2022.

Balancing the demands of teaching, coaching, and leading the fire department was no small feat, but Bill managed it with unwavering commitment, supported by his loving wife of 48 years, Marcy. “Mom really has been extraordinary in enabling dad to do everything he dreamed of. She stayed home for many years raising us, and then built herself a really outstanding career of her own,” comments their daughter Becky.

After their two children, Becky and Zach, entered grade school, Marcy worked as a secretary and aide at Versailles Schools before becoming the EMIS coordinator at Upper Valley Career Technology Center in Piqua. “[Because mom worked at school,] I couldn’t get away with anything,” bemuses Zach. “I only ever had one detention and she knew about it before Mr. Huelskamp ever pulled me into the hallway.” In 2000, she was hired by MDECA to train school districts in how to use educational software, and she was also a successful travel agent. “I meant for that job to be my retirement job, but I got so good at it that it just kind of took off. I finally retired for good in 2021 to help Bill with the farm because I enjoy it,” she laughs. Now that they are both retired, they look forward to spending more time with Becky and Zach, and Zach’s wife Tami, and their two grandchildren, Justin and Danni Lynn. Despite her busy professional and family life, Marcy always made time to serve her community.

Marcy balanced her career with her commitment to the Women’s Fire Auxiliary from 1979-2022. She says the organization was inactive for a while but the firefighters’ wives restarted it “because we wanted something to do to get out of the house because our husbands were so busy!” One of their projects was making crafts to sell at the Fancy Stand at the North Star Picnic. Bill and Marcy also ran the Lunch Stand at the picnic for many years. “The community really gets together to put the picnic on—it brings the community together,” Bill comments.

Now retired, Bill and Marcy reflect on their legacy of service to the community. Being selected as parade marshals “means a lot to us and to Bill’s family because his parents were parade marshals” and “it’s a great honor” to carry on the legacy of the Roll family name. Their son Zach reflects that “integrity and community involvement” are the most important lessons he’s learned from his parents, in addition to always “doing the right thing, even when no one’s looking.” Becky adds, “They encouraged us to be kind and curious while exploring the world around us. They choose to love life every day. That for me is their legacy.”

Bill and Marcy Roll’s legacy to North Star is one of unparalleled dedication and community service. Their lives are a testament to the belief that true fulfillment comes from serving others. They advise future generations to “Pay it forward—if you don’t step up and help your community, then no one behind you will.” This philosophy has guided their every action, inspiring countless individuals to contribute to the well-being of their town. “We’re lucky that our town has a lot of young people who are willing to lead and organize—which they got from watching their parents,” Bill comments.

The quiet community of North Star has much to be proud of. They recently raised enough money to build a new shelter house and refurbish and replace many outdated pieces of equipment in the park and ball diamond. Without dedicated community members like the Rolls, projects like this would never come to fruition. The town looks forward to showing off their hard work at this year’s picnic, which will take place on July 19th-21st.

The 73rd annual North Star Picnic is a celebration of the community’s legacy. On Friday, the festivities kick off with a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the North Star Hardware and the North Star Plumbers from 6-8 p.m. Both businesses have stayed in the Stammen family for over four generations. Along with the co-ed softball tournament, Friday night’s festivities include entertainment by local musician Dalton Hesson starting at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, the picnic hosts a Cruise-In Car Show from 6-9 p.m., a Local Celebrity Schoolyard Softball game at 6:30 p.m., and music by the Hammer Jockeys from 8-11:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the 26th annual Angel Run 5K to remember all lost loved ones will kick off at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 2 p.m., followed by the Pedal Tractor Pull at 3:15 p.m., a Cornhole Tournament and Performance Trick Dogs of Ohio at 4 p.m., and the ever-popular Dodgeball Tournament at 6:30 p.m. The night caps off with live entertainment by White Russian featuring local musicians Isaac Buschur and Kyle Wuebker from 6-8 p.m. and the Raffle Drawing at 9 p.m. In addition to these events, the Picnic also includes a bouncy house, games for little ones, and a dunk tank sponsored by Kinder Korner Preschool. The Lunch Stand serving cheeseburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and more will be open throughout the weekend.

Please come out and enjoy the festivities at the North Star Community Center from July 19th-21st and support the North Star Community Fire Department, North Star Community Association, and the North Star American Legion.

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