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MISSION - Rolando “Country Roland” Garcia Sr., 80, passed away Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 at his residence in Mission.

Best known as “Country Roland,” he began his career driving an 18-wheeler and later served as an assistant fire marshall for the City of McAllen Fire Department.

During his 50-year musical career, he was also known as "Kikker Daddy" and "El Viejo" and was recognized as the founder of Chicano/Tejano country music. He received numerous awards and plaques for his musical interpretations, for being a trendsetter in Chicano country music industry, and for meritorious contribution to a number of worthy causes.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Aurora Garcia; children, Karol Virginia Montes of McAllen, Rolando Garcia Jr. of Mission, Aurora Hernandez of Mission, Judy Garcia of Mission, Wendy Quintanilla of Mission, Heidi Ortiz of Mission, Jennifer Montemayor of McAllen and Rolynne Alvarado of McAllen; several siblings; and 22 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held Monday, Oct. 22, at 1:30 p.m. at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home. Interment will follow at La Piedad Cemetery in McAllen.

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