Roy Clarence Gollnick

December 15, 1927June 21, 2020

Roy Gollnick, 92, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 21, at Edgewater Retirement Community in West Des Moines. He was born in Chicago in 1927, the last of four siblings to Charles and Marie Gollnick. Roy attended Lane Technical High School and went on to graduate from Northwestern University with a degree in Engineering. He was the first student ever to graduate from Northwestern University solely taking night classes. His fascination with manufacturing lead him to a career in Industrial Engineering that spanned forty years across five industries. In that time, he developed expertise in electronics, audio/visual, heavy equipment and jet engine manufacturing, holding progressive management and consulting positions. He gave numerous speeches and presentations on manufacturing-related topics to peer groups, and had articles published in professional journals in the U.S and Japan.

In 1953, Roy met the love of his life Lorraine while attending a dance at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. In fifty-seven years of marriage they were constant companions, raising two children and remaining active in their communities while making homes in Chicago, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, and Iowa once more. Civically, Roy served on the Finance Committee for Sacred Heart Church in West Des Moines and presided over the School Board during his children’s formative years. He also volunteered and served as a football coach and a Boy Scout leader. While in North Carolina, Roy and Lorraine established a soup kitchen through their church where they served meals to more than 600 people every week. It was their generosity and will to be kind that touched people most.

Roy traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and saw the world with wonder. In retirement, he maintained a wide range of interests and activities including teaching at the local college, volunteering at the Des Moines Community Playhouse, wood-carving, and stained glass works. The one constant throughout Roy’s life was his unwavering passion for learning.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife Lorraine (2010), and is survived by his children, daughter Ellen (David) Harvey of Clive; son Michael (Donna) Gollnick of San Francisco, CA; grandchildren Ross (Emily) Harvey, Allison (Colton) Smith, Robert Harvey, and Matthew Gollnick; great-grandchildren Ada and Lydia Smith; and many dear nieces and nephews.

A mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, June 25, 4:00PM, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, IA 50266.


  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Thursday, June 25, 2020

  • Burial

    Thursday, June 25, 2020


Roy Clarence Gollnick

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeff Burch

June 25, 2020

Unlce Roy was the type of guy who could light up a room with his sharp wit, charm and personality. He was always quick to laugh amd genuinely cared about everyone around him. I remember his big voice and even bigger spirit always livening the occasion. He truly had a gift to be able to engage people with his light. He will be so missed, but never forgotten.

Julie Harvey

June 25, 2020

Dear Ellen and Mike,
I always considered your folks a part of our family, and us a part of theirs. For some many years we celebrated birthdays, graduations, and holiday meals together. We are so lucky to both have families that enjoyed being together as it made times fun and enhanced our traditions. I will miss “Grandpa G” as I know Jake will, too. He represented everything good in a father, grandfather, and servant of our Heavenly Father. May he Rest In Peace, and be once again reunite with his wife and your Mom. God bless.
Julie and Jake

Tim Ellis

June 25, 2020

Sadden to hear of Roy's passing and at the same time happy that he's again with his beloved wife Lorraine, together in Heaven. I knew them for nearly 30 years assisting them with their finances. I met them when they lived in Greenville NC. Out of respect I referred to them as Mr and Mrs Gollnick since I was only 30 at the time. I would visit them in their home and they were the most genuine, kind, and hospitable people you would ever meet. Mr G (somehow he got that nickname)
had a great sense of humor, he liked kidding me about my college UNC. I told him one time they were so nice that the southern hospitality had rubbed off on them. In reality, there's good folks everywhere and Roy and Lorraine were two of the best. They were very proud of and loved their children Ellen and Michael and grandchildren. I am thankful to have known Roy and Lorraine. My prayers go out to Michael and Ellen and their families. God's Love, Comfort, and Peace be with you.