Roy Harley

Roy Andrew Harley passed away peacefully, joining his heavenly family, on Friday morning March 17, 2023, in Red Wing, Minnesota. Roy was born March 19, 1935 in Minneapolis, MN to the late Ann and Andrew Harley. Roy was 2 days shy of his 88th birthday, which his family still celebrated with his favorite pumpkin pie. Roy was the beloved husband and best friend of Karol Harley, recently celebrating 62 wonderful years of marriage on March 4th. For 55 of those years, they lived in Red Wing.

Roy graduated from Minneapolis North High school in 1952, Gustavus Adolphus College in 1959, and completed a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Denver in 1963. Roy was passionate about service, committing his entire life to serving people and building community. During his 32-year career at Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, Roy was an advocate for vulnerable children and adults with disabilities at both local and statewide levels. He led foundational change, from establishing the first special education classes with Red Wing School District before it became a state requirement, to developing a network of outreach services in southeastern Minnesota. Though Roy retired as a Regional Vice President of LSS in 1998, his commitment to service-driven community leadership continued. Roy was an active member of Red Wing’s City Council, Port Authority, and Planning Commission. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Minnesota Private Industry Council, and as Treasurer of First Lutheran Church.

Roy loved being out in nature. He hunted and fished with his son David, and was a regular boater on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin with his family and friends. In his younger years, he was an avid hiker, camper, and downhill skier. He often found ways to combine his passions, such as leading the children at Vasa Childrens Home on hiking trips in the Sierra Nevada, and organizing a school Ski Club (and honing his bus-driving skills) when his children were in elementary school. Roy also possessed impressive artistic talent, drawn out especially when helping his daughter Kristin with creative school projects.

Roy was appreciated for his compassion and loyalty, and for his playfulness and wonderful dry sense of humor. He was also known for having a bit of a stubborn streak that perhaps came from his Scottish ancestry. He added color and shaped opportunities for the lives of so many. He will be deeply missed. Roy is survived by his dear wife Karol Harley, his son David Harley & wife Brenda, his daughter Kristin Andrichik & husband Henk Mooiweer, as well as his grandchildren Marena, Cassidy, Alyssa, Megan, and Logan. Roy is predeceased by his sister Jean Christensen. A celebration of Roy’s life is planned for Friday March 24, 2023 at First Lutheran Church, 615 W 5th St. in Red Wing. Visitation at 10am followed by a service at 11am. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Special Olympics or First Lutheran Church in Roy’s name.

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