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Olympic Supply Company co-founder Don Goniu dies at 89

Published April 22, 2016

MILWAUKEE (BRAIN) — Donald J. Goniu, who founded Olympic Cycle Supply with his father, died Wednesday at 89.

Goniu served in the U.S. Army in World War II, and was a leader in his community and in the bike industry. He was a founding member of the Bicycle Wholesale Distributors Association (now the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association) and served as that organization's president from 1983-1985. He was also an alderman in Mequon, Wisconsin, and was active in several community organizations, including the Boy Scouts. 

Olympic Cycle Supply remains a family-run business, now led by Donald's son Paul, grandsons Brian and Matt, and several other family members, including Paul’s wife, Doreen.  

Andy Johnsen of Hans Johnsen Co. fondly remembers Don.

"When I first entered the business in 1976, I remember him winning the free trip to the Cologne show, compliments of Union Frodenberg, which at the time was the source for pedals, spokes and chains," Johnsen said. "I attended the show that year as well and saw Don busily walking around with his briefcase looking dapper as always in a traditional coat and tie. I thought, 'That lucky executive, winning a free trip to Europe!' not knowing Goniu was not an executive. "He was a quiet man and understated industry leader – an overall great guy to emulate. I will miss Don a lot and I still hear his voice."

To Brian Goniu, Don's grandson, remembering his grandfather means remembering his victories.

"Don won. He survived World War II – even saving a man's life – and 68 years in the bicycle industry. Not sure which was harder," he said.

Goniu graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is survived by his wife, Carolie; children Kevin, Paul and Virginia; and six grandchildren.

 

Topics associated with this article: People

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