Orrin Rongstad

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MIDDLETON–Orrin Rongstad, 91, of Middleton, passed away on Aug. 4, 2022. He was born on April 22, 1931, in York, to Johnny and Cora Rongstad, the fourth of six children. Orrin graduated from Osseo High School as valedictorian in 1949 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire until 1952, when he joined the US Air Force. He graduated from the Air Force Officers Candidate School in 1953 and was honorably discharged in 1957. Orrin then continued his studies at the University of Minnesota with a degree in Wildlife Management and furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin with a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Zoology in 1965.

Orrin married Bernice Satter in 1962, and they had three children together, Kurt, Neil and Amy. They settled in Middleton in 1967, where Orrin took a position at University of Wisconsin in the Department of Wildlife Ecology, serving as advisor, teacher, researcher and department chair. After retiring, Orrin continued his deer research and helped with the introduction of the elk into Northern Wisconsin. He also took up golf and continued to hunt and fish. His favorite activity was spending quality time with his family and friends.

Orrin is survived by his wife of 60 years, Bernice; and children, Kurt (Meriel) Rongstad, Neil (Daniela) Rongstad and Amy (Rick) Grelle. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Rachel (Dan), Derek (Meg) and Mallory Rongstad, Erick and Kevin Grelle and Jonah Rongstad; siblings, Dorothy Anderson, Robert (JoAnn) Rongstad and Arnie (Jane) Rongstad; and many other relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 7337 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, at 11 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2022. Military rights and burial will be held at Middleton Junction Cemetery after the church luncheon. Visitation will be held at Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Care from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2022, and also at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Agrace HospiceCare or charity of your choice. 

“If I had my life to do over, I would be happy to marry the same girl and make the same choices that I did growing up in a small town, Osseo, during the Depression.”

Online condolences may be made at gundersonfh.com.

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