DEL CARMEN, ROLANDO V. (1930 ~ 2018). The following is an obituary for Rolando Del Carmen a former member of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards Board. The obituary was provided by Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home.
Rolando V. del Carmen died on October 31, 2018, from pancreatic cancer.
He was born on October 16, 1930, to a poor pastor and his wife in the southern Philippines. The third of ten children, del Carmen graduated as high school class valedictorian of Misamis Institute, then pursued his undergraduate degree as a working student at Silliman University, from which he received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Southern Methodist University, where he earned a Master of Comparative Law. del Carmen then returned to his homeland as professor; administrator; and outspoken, entertaining host of “Platters and Chatters,” a popular nationally broadcast political commentary radio program which found him interviewing such aspirants as the infamous Ferdinand Marcos. He later returned to the United States to earn a Master of Laws from the University of California-Berkeley, then a Doctor of the Science of Law from the University of Illinois-Champaign.
After beginning his stateside academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, del Carmen joined the Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Criminal Justice Center faculty in 1974, driving his young family into Huntsville on the day of the Carrasco prison siege at the Texas Department of Corrections. During his 41 years at SHSU, he relished the opportunity to teach, research, prolifically publish, and mentor. He was, in return, awarded numerous honors including being named Distinguished Professor, Piper Professor, and Regents’ Professor; and is one of only three scholars to be recognized with all three top awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences: the Founder’s Award, Bruce Smith Sr. Award, and Academy Fellow Award.
del Carmen was ever grateful for the opportunities afforded him in life and enjoyed paying it forward, particularly by supporting scholarships both at SHSU and Silliman. At the latter, his philanthropic efforts culminated in the recent establishment of the Rolando Villanueva del Carmen Honor Hall, a dormitory where excellent and underprivileged scholars live and learn together free of charge.
del Carmen was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Josefa “Josie.” He is survived by his second wife, Erlyn; daughter Jocelyn (Chris) Tanabe, and grandchildren Josie and Linus of Palo Alto, CA; and stepson Joey Diao and family of Celebration, FL. He is also survived by siblings Divina Himaya, Cirilo DelCarmen, Jr., Grace Nishidera, Ben del Carmen, and Gloria Dechawan; and extended family on four continents.
A service celebrating del Carmen’s life will be held on Monday, November 19, at 11:00 a. m. at the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville. Another memorial service will be held later in the Philippines. He will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Wednesday, November 21, at 11:00 a. m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that in-memoriam donations may be made to the United Board for the support of Silliman University. Donations can be made online https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/unitedboard or checks, payable to "United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia" (please indicate in memo line that this gift is in memory of Dr. Rolando del Carmen) can be mailed to either of two offices: The United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1221, New York, NY 10115; or, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, 1/F, Chung Chi College Administration Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.