Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz, 28, a Fredonia native, was killed in Pul-E Alam, Afghanistan on Sept. 26 in a roadside bombing.
S. Sgt. Orion Sparks of Tucson, AZ was killed alongside Jon. Jon was the 1,999th soldier killed in Afghanistan. Our family and community grieve, but there are thousands who have also suffered loss.
On September 11, 2001 Johnny was 17 years old and was attending Southern Tier (Levant) Christian High School, Falconer, New York. He graduated that next year and joined the United States Navy. After serving five years in the Navy, Jon enlisted in the Army because he want-ed to be closer to 'the action.' Jon served a tour in Iraq and had already been injured in Afghanistan. He had only just recently returned to combat when his life was taken. Jon was a hero. Many choose safety, but Johnny chose the front lines!
Jonathan Alan Gollnitz was a son and grandson. He was a brother and a friend. He was an uncle and a nephew. He was a warrior. Johnny's favorite role was father.
Jon was the son of Alan and Kimberly Gollnitz of Fredonia, New York. He is survived by his grandmothers, Minnie Gollnitz also of Fredonia, and Carol Kennedy of Buffalo, NY. Jon was the oldest of six boys; Kirk, Chad, Tyler, Nick and Noah survive him. Johnny has numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and family members grieving his loss.
Johnny is also survived by his mentor, friend, and uncle Martin and Diane Kennedy of Brownsville, Texas. Jon is survived by his best friend, confidante, and co-conspirator Joshua Eimers of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz is most importantly survived by his four year old son, Lukas Conrad Gollnitz of Port Orange, Washington. Lukas is a young boy who will never again be held by his father. Lukas is so proud of his father, an American Soldier. A true Patriot! He will grow up with pictures, videos and fading memories. Please pray and support Lukas and his mother Bridgett Gollnitz as she raises Johnny's son.
Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz was a follower of Jesus Christ and was met in heaven by his God and Sa-vior. Jon was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Conrad Gollnitz and Eugene Kennedy.
It is truly tragic that a 28-year-old young man has been killed. Please know Jon died doing what he loved. Jon died too soon, but Johnny didn't waste his life; please honor him by not wasting yours.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation towards a memorial fund in the name of Jonathan Gollnitz. Please mail your check made to: The Sgt. Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz Memorial Fund c/o Lakeshore Savings Bank, 128 East Fourth Street, Dunkirk, New York 14048.
A military service with full honors was held, and his ashes interred at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission, Texas on Monday, October 8, 2012. A local celebration and memorial of Jon's life will be held Saturday, October 13 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 876 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, New York. Jon's pas-tor, the Reverend Roger Eimers, Sr. will officiate.
Jonathan "Nathan" Gollnitz died so you could be free!