Rolland "Rollie" Howie

  • Funeral Date: 8/30/16
  • Funeral Time: 11 AM
  • Date of Birth: 6/14/54
  • Date of Death: 8/25/16
  • Funeral Location: Dennison Lutheran Church

Rolland “Rollie” Howie was born June 14, 1954 in Northfield, Minnesota, to Edward and Florence (Kyllo) Howie. He was raised on a family farm near Dennison and worked on the farm milking cows, driving tractor as well as other chores. Rollie graduated from Northfield High School in 1972, and then enrolled at Dunwoody College of Technology where he studied to become an electrician. He began working for Doc’s Electrical in Northfield and later joined the St. Paul’s IBEW Union where he worked in the metro area as well as in Hastings. While working for 3M Chemolite, Rollie began his own electrical business, Howie Electric. His business grew increasingly successful and soon became his full-time profession. Rollie married Dorothy Portner February 14, 1981 and they settled in Dennison where they ran the business and raised their two children.

Rollie had a passion for flying and held a private pilot license, often flying out of Stanton. While on family vacations he would always seek out airplane museums and attend air shows. He loved music from rock and roll to choral music. He was a charter member of I Cantanti, a mixed voice community ensemble from the Northfield area. Rollie was extremely dependable and worked long days to ensure homeowners could move into their new houses and businesses were always up and running.

Rollie passed away on Thursday, August 25, 2016, at Reflections in Northfield as a result of Neuromyelitis Optica, a rare and aggressive autoimmune disease. Growing gradually weaker after losing sight in one eye, he continued to work and enjoy life as long as he could. He is survived by his wife Dorothy of Dennison, a son Ryan of Hilo, HI, a daughter Anna Howie (and Cody Smith) of Apple Valley, a brother Tim (and Geri) and their children, Katherine and Genna of Dennison, sisters-in-law Donna Portner (and Rob Nevitt) and their children Drew and Mara of Inver Grove Heights, Diane (and Rick) Barghini and their son Dominic of Loveland, OH, brother-in-law George E. Portner (and Sharon) and his son Alexander of Pittstown, NJ, his father and mother-in-law George and Angie Portner of New Ulm as well and aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, two infant brothers and his grandparents.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 beginning at 11 AM at Dennison Lutheran Church with the Reverend Paul Graham officiating. Visitation will be held on Monday, August 29 from 4 PM to 8 PM at Bierman Funeral Home and also one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Stanton Cemetery, Dennison, immediately after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Dennison Lutheran Church.

Arrangements by Bierman Funeral Home.


  1. Mona Clark

    Rollie we will definitely miss you, You were always one of my favorite cousins like a big brother I pray for your family and ask for comfort to be given to them. Rest in peace love you

  2. Bob & Martha DAvies

    Very sad news. Rollie was the electrician (along with his brother, Tim on our first house in town. Great guy, the best at what he did and he will be missed by so many. Our condolences to his family.

  3. Angie Groth

    I am shocked to read this…no pun intended! Rollie was such a joy to be around!!! He will be missed! My sincere condolences to the family and friends! Xx

  4. Janice Schumacher

    Rollie was our neighbor as a boy. He would wait in his yard with his dog, Fido, awaiting an invitation to play softball with us. He had a winning smile, blond hair and could run like the wind. He had enough enthusiasm for us all. I always liked the thought that he continued to watch over the neighborhood (Dennison) after we all moved. He will be missed. Love and prayers to his family

    • Dorothy Howie

      The winning smile didn’t change. He will be missed.

  5. Kevin and Jeanie Bakken

    So sorry for your loss Rollie was a very special person. He will truly be missed!

  6. Mark and Terry Rydberg

    We will remember Rollie’s laughter, optimism and can-do spirit. He has been our right-hand man on all our projects. What a huge loss. We are so heartbroken because we have lost a great guy much too young. Our prayers and thoughts are with the whole family.

  7. Duane Nordvold

    Dear Loved ones(Dorothy), Rollie and I prayed together. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, soul, and strength. I loved Rollie so very much. He was such a dear and close friend.
    When Rollie helped build Riverwood Church in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; he told me that he had the most fun and enjoyable time he ever had working with all the Christian men. We would talk about heaven and the new body that we would receive when we got there. We talked about Jesus who gave His life and shed His blood for all our sins. Rollie was so much fun to talk with. For lunch, I made up food for all the men and Rollie was so encouraging; because he always said he liked the food I had prepared. We will someday meet him in glory. May God be praised for Rollie’s life, Dorothy and family whom he loved dearly. We will seen Rollie someday with new eyes and a new body. What a day that will be. Love to all in Christ Jesus, Duane Nordvold

  8. Jolene Schmitz

    HI Tim,

    I am so sorry for your loss and wish I could be there. Please know that you and all of the family are in my prayers and I pray that the Lord will give all of you comfort and peace beyond understanding. Rollie is singing with the Angels now.

    Hugs from Nashville,
    Your Cousin,

  9. Deborah Monson

    I am so sad to hear of your loss. We will miss Rollie’s hard work, smile and caring spirit. I have enjoyed working on various jobs at Riverwood Community Church with Rollie. We are forever grateful for his wonderful work. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  10. Lorn Manthey

    Dorothy and Family……I met Rollie accidentally 5 years ago….needed an electrician and was in Dennison and saw his truck…called the number and he answered. He came over to our farm near Wanamingo and fixed the problem and later I had him re-wire our farm house, a machine shed and install a new yard light….many days of work, and Rollie was always a friendly, happy go-lucky guy, even on those hot July days! We visited other times when he wasn’t working, and I learned of his love for singing and flying. When I told him I needed a longer ladder to paint the gables of our farm house he came over with his bucket truck one evening and told me stories for 3 hours from the base of his truck as I painted….What a great person to go way beyond the call of duty! Rollie was a great story teller and I always enjoyed our visits. It was a very sad day when I heard he was ill this spring, and a much sadder day when I learned of his passing. Thoughts, prayers and condolences to you and your family as you grieve his passing. There’s a large void in the community where Rollie lived, but he’ll always be remembered as a kind, gentle, hard-working and fun loving man. Bless his memory!!