A funeral ceremony honoring the life of Roland Dean Gniech will be held 10 AM Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at the Bethany Church in Broken Arrow. Interment will follow in Yale, Oklahoma. Visitation will be held from 6-8 PM Tuesday, May 11 at the Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Service & Crematory, 13307 S. Memorial Drive. Roland passed away Thursday evening, May 6, 2021 at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. He was 74 years old.
Born October 14, 1946 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Roland was the son of Clarence Anthony and Mattie Rachel (Sandefur) Gniech. He moved to Tulsa at the age of seven when his father sought employment with Douglas Aircraft. Roland graduated from Hale High School with the Class of 1964. He and his twin brother (Ronald) were both mechanically inclined from an early age. Roland would completely take apart automobiles just so he could put them back together, throughout his life there was nothing Roland could not fix.
Roland was introduced to Susan Pate on a blind date! Sparks flew on their second date. Roland and Susan married soon thereafter on September 6, 1968 at the Southminster Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. They spent 53 wonderful years together raising their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in the area.
Roland served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was known to be a natural born leader throughout his tenure in the military. This included his time in basic training as a squad leader, AIT in California, and ultimately, his time with the 9th Infantry Division. They traveled by sea to the Mekong Delta and were the first unit to beach head the area. Roland was a Charter member of the “River Rats” earning several citations.
Roland’s leadership continued throughout his professional career as a draftsman and eventually, a mechanical engineer. He started sweeping the floors for Zephyr Metalcraft at the age of fourteen. It was there he began his training in the drafting room. Roland eventually became the Director of Engineering. Once the industry became computerized, Roland enrolled at Tulsa Tech to sharpen his technological skills. This training led to a twenty-five plus year career of gainful employment with the John Zink (Koch) Company, until his retirement in 2017.
Roland was a member of the Kampers of America, the National Rifle Association, and the Oklahoma Sherriff’s Association. He was Tulsa raised, yet always a country boy at heart. Roland loved everything about the outdoors - especially the camping trips he took with his family throughout the country. The Gniech’s made regular trips to Flint Ridge where Roland loved to dance with Susan on Friday nights; and participate in various outdoor activities such as horseback riding, fishing, and canoeing. After 60 years of living in Tulsa, Roland achieved his ideal life living on a Ranch in Chelsea, Oklahoma. It was there he loved spending time on his pond teaching his grandchildren how to fish. He really enjoyed the country life he always remembered from his early childhood in Tecumseh, Oklahoma. Roland was a remarkable man that will not soon be forgotten by his beloved friends and family.
Surviving family members include his wife, Susan Gniech; his children, Nicole and James Farmer, and their children, Ashley her husband James Thomas, Quinton and Kelsey Haley their children Madalyn and Nora; Holly and Cody Gardener their children Clementine and Waylon, William Haley, Josh Farmer, and Nate Farmer; Colby and Camille Gniech, and their children, Colt, Cambell, and Creed; Dustin and Michelle Gniech, and children, Ally, Obrieann, Payton and Samantha; and his twin brother, Ronald Gene Gniech, his niece, Lisa and fiance, Tom Farrar, and his great-nephew, Kai Gniech.
Roland was preceded in death by his parents; and sister-in-law, Ann Gniech.
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