Roy was born on the family farm near the Westfield Church in rural Dodge County to Clarence H. and Lenora (Mussman) on April 8, 1935.
He attended the nearby rural school and graduated from Blooming Prairie High School in 1954.
Roy joined the navy after high school and enjoyed his time aboard the heavy cruiser USS Newport News. He recalled his drill instructor being named “Nails” Garand. Several of his friends enlisted at the same time, some even serving on the same ship; and he would say what a wonderful experience it was to cruse the Mediterranean Sea and visit Spain and other countries.
After returning home, Roy had several jobs, including tiling and roofing, but eventually settled at Jostens. He transferred to the new plant in Porterville, California for a short time in the 1960’s but returned to Owatonna.
Roy married Hope Thompson and they had two sons, Todd and Troy. They later divorced. Roy married Renee Johnson on February 14, 1970 and had three children, Erika, Andrew, and Alex.
The family enjoyed their time living next to the straight river on a 40-acre hobby farm, where Roy had a passion for miniature horses, pigeons, and various other creatures including peacocks, chickens, turkeys, guineas, sheep and goats.
Roy helped Renee in her ceramic business mixing clay slip and pouring the molds, cutting faces in pumpkins and all the various seasonal pieces.
When he retired from Jostens in 1997, they took down several barns and transitioned to woodcrafts. He loved woodworking and over the years built thousands of birdhouses that were sold in many states at craft shows.
Bonkie, a rescue Jack Russell Terrier, came to live with them in 2005 and he an Roy were inseparable. Roy loved to get up early, go to the shop, turn on country music and build bird houses with Bonkie in his bed up on the counter keeping him company – for 14 ½ years.
He loved his farm and would often say, “I just love it out here, it’s my heaven. I hope heaven is as nice as this.”
Roy enjoyed reading, birdwatching and feeding the birds, sitting in the yard and enjoying all his animals, going to swaps with his friends, and being with his family. He was a quiet and thoughtful man.
Roy passed away peacefully September 3, 2019 with his family by his side in the house he and Renee built.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Todd; sister, Donna and her husband, Franny Seykora, and faithful companion Bonkie.
Roy is survived by wife Ren; children, Troy Holz, Minneapolis, Erika Ebenhoh, Andrew (Eldon Anderson) Ebenhoh, Alex (Vikki) Ebenhoh; three grandchildren, Zander Ebenhoh-Rhoades, Clara and William Ebenhoh, all in the Owatonna area; sisters, June Dahl, Betty (Darel) Johnson, Beverly (Dennis) Nelson, and many nieces and nephews.
Thank you from the family to Niece Heidi for her special care in his last years and to former son-in-law Mike Rhoades for salting and sanding the yard in the winter, picking Roy up when he fell, and visiting with Zander on special occasions.
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