George G. Rollins

 

Born Mar. 20, 1902; died Apr. 3, 1998. He was the son of Ransom and Mattie Rollins. Married Gladys Millman. No children.

If you could describe altruism and philanthropy on one page it would have to be George and Gladys Rollins. George lived a humble life in the place he loved; the Ozark Mountains. He was a shrewd businessman and in his lifetime amassed assets that would stagger the average person’s imagination. George and Gladys lived a life based on the Christian principle of helping others selflessly without self-aggrandizement or expectations of recognition. His home, while lovely and situated on top of a hill overlooking the town of Winona, was not ostentatious. He and Gladys attended the First Christian Church faithfully and quietly ensured that monetary offerings would be sufficient to keep the church going.

George did not have a formal education beyond high school but he valued education. George and Gladys did not have children but were very supportive of the children of their church family. He helped countless students with tuition assistance, again, without asking for anything in return or letting anyone know he was helping these most deserving individuals.

Not many years ago the citizens of Winona defeated a referendum to build a new school. The old school building had been condemned and was unsafe for many years. George came through again. He asked the principal and superintendent if there was ever a chance that a new school would be built, and when he was told "no", he wrote a check to the Winona School District for $200,000.00 and handed it to the principal. In addition to the $400,000.00 from Federal Crop money, George loaned the other $600,000.00 to make the 1.2 million necessary to build the school. Again, he asked for nothing in return.

When George passed away, he left a generous charitable contribution to the places he loved. Each gift totaled at least $1 million. The organizations receiving gifts from his estate were: the Winona School District, Winona Christian Church, Winona Fire department, City of Winona, Ozark Bible College, the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund and School of the Ozarks. School leaders determined it was only appropriate that the new school be named in their honor. Here we are, many years later, enjoying the generous gift from George and Gladys Rollins, the G. G. Rollins Educational Complex.

The unbelievable contributions that George Rollins made to his hometown of Winona while living a very unassuming existence is by far one of the most selfless acts ever witnessed in this or any other town. George’s life is remembered today as one of selfless concern for the greater good and the welfare of others as a whole.

His legacy of generosity and compassion for others stands as a permanent reminder of a life well lived. He is beyond a doubt worthy to be enshrined in the Winona Wall of Recognition.


 

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