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Obituary: 'Stranger than Fiction' writer Roland Sweet 

Stranger Than Fiction

Roland S. Sweet, 69, of Mount Vernon, Virginia, died on July 24, 2015, at Mount Vernon Inova Hospital, of heart failure. Born Roland Saunders Sweet II in Panama City, Florida, on Aug. 2, 1945, he was the son of Col. Harold L. Sweet and Mary Sue Sweet.

He graduated from Suitland High School ('63). From 1965 to 1971, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller, including a tour of duty in Thailand. After his time in the service, he graduated with honors and a B.A. from the University of Maryland ('72), and later an M.S. in Public Communication from Syracuse University ('84), earning the Newhouse School's Wolseley Award for outstanding academic merit.

Most recently, he was the editor-in-chief of Log Home Living magazine, which he helped launch in 1989. Over the years, he was also editor of Log Homes Illustrated, Timber Homes Illustrated and Distinctive Wood Homes magazines. He authored Log Home Secrets of Success (2010) and 100 Best Log Home Floor Plans (2007). He developed and presented log home seminars all over the country.

He began his career as an editor at The Syracuse New Times, a weekly newspaper, and wrote for a number of newspapers and special interest publications.

He was also the co-author, with Chuck Shepherd and John J. Kohut, of several volumes of the popular "News of the Weird" series, and continued his interest in human folly with a weekly syndicated column, "News Quirks," which appeared in 16 U.S. and Canadian newspapers.

He won three Ozzie Awards for Publishing Excellence, the Syracuse Press Club's Lifetime Achievement award, and, perhaps most proudly, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia's Outstanding Tutor/Teacher Award for tutoring a Guatemalan immigrant in spoken and written English.

At the age of 52, he earned his Private Pilot's license, and was qualified to fly single-engine light, complex, and tailwheel aircraft.

He is survived by his wife, Theodora T. Tilton; brother Samuel D. Sweet (Anne Corbett), and many nieces and nephews.

He loved his family, a succession of grateful rescue dogs, most recently Pippa, four foster elephants — Kibo, Shukuru, Ashaka, and Mbegu — the Washington Nationals, time spent with his wife at their getaway in the Shenandoah Mountains and laughter shared with his legion of friends.

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