Joseph J. Rolla Sr., a retired railroad freight conductor, died Friday of diabetic heart failure at his home on Avondale Road in Parkville. He was 75.
A mass of Christian burial for Mr. Rolla was being offered today at St. Ursula's Roman Catholic Church, 8800 Harford Road in Parkville.
He was born in Old Forge, Pa., and attended public schools there. Mr. Rolla later served in the Army during World War II as a fireman with the train service in the Persian Gulf.
Mr. Rolla began his railroad career with the Pennsylvania Railroad. He retired in 1981 from Conrail after 42 years of service.
He was a member of VFW Post 3065, the American Legion, Post 183 of Parkville and the Knights of Columbus, Council 4011.
Mr. Rolla is survived by his wife of 45 years, the former Dorothy M. Lightner; a son, Joseph J. Rolla Jr. of Springfield, Va.; a daughter, Kathryn A. Manno of Baltimore; two sisters, Anne Sirgany of Joppatowne and Margaret Rolla of Washington; a grandson and granddaughter.
The family suggested that donations be made to the American Diabetics Foundation.