Robert Kolsrud

Robert H. Kolsrud, 90, of Waukon died Sunday, February 28, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Funeral services were held Saturday, March 6 at Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Church in rural Waukon with Pastor Ken Kimball officiating. Burial with military honors was in the church cemetery.

Robert Howard Kolsrud was born January 15, 1931 in Waukon, the son of Helmer and Emma (Busness) Kolsrud. Robert grew up on a farm outside of Waterville. He was baptized and confirmed at East Paint Creek Synod Lutheran Church in rural Waterville and attended Waterville schools.

Growing up as an only child, Robert enjoyed horseback riding, fishing and hunting with his dog, Blue. His mom endured some health issues which imprisoned her to a nursing home when Robert was nine years old. Robert had a cream route with the Waterville Creamery at age 16 and also used a hand plow to plow gardens for others as a side job.

At the age of 17, he convinced his dad to sign for him to enlist in the U.S. Navy. In 1948, Robert started his 22-year career in the Navy aboard the USS St. Paul during the Korean War. In 1951, while on leave, Robert attended a dance at Rainbow Gardens in Waterville, where he met a pretty lady named Eunice Thorstenson. August 8, 1954, they married at the Old West Paint Creek Parsonage. After serving four years, he was discharged and Robert returned home to farm.

In 1958, Robert reenlisted in the Navy, where his attention to detail and great problem-solving skills led him to be recognized, putting him on the Admiral’s staff as a nuclear weapon inspector. His naval career was filled with many awards and achievements, including a “beneficial suggestion” to take water out of the air, which was later installed on 135 naval ships, and creating a medal winning missile launcher that’s still used today.

Robert retired from the Navy in 1974 with the status of Senior Chief. He was passionate about veterans and soldiers receiving medals and awards that were due them, so he helped them apply.

He liked to travel and went on several yearly trips to Branson, MO, attended the Worldview Weekend in Osage Beach, MO, visited the Ark and Creation Museum in Kentucky, and went with Eunice to Hawaii for their 50th anniversary. Robert also enjoyed going to yearly ship reunions across the country. Among all these things, he also loved music, dancing and playing cards.

Robert is survived by his wife, Eunice, of Waukon; his children: Carlyle (Kim) of Grantsburg, WI, and Richard (Rose), Clark (Myrna) and Kelly (Gary) Mahr, all of Waukon; nine grandchildren: Ryan (Selina) and Preston (Teri) Kolsrud, Michelle (Don) Paul, Stacy (Mark) Traxler, Ashley Kolsrud, Kari (Andy) Burke, Amy (Landon) Alexander, Jordan (Chance) Butteris and Madison Reiser; a step-granddaughter April (Tyler) Brown; 21 great-grandchildren; his former daughter-in-law, Mary Kolsrud of Minnesota; his sisters-in-law, Karla Honn and Juanita Thorstenson, both of Waukon, and Linda Thorstenson of Cedar Rapids; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother- and father-in-law, Charlotte and Eilert Thorstenson; a step-grandson, Jared Mahr; his brothers-in-law, Wayne, Dean and David Thortstenson; and a sister-in-law, Ronda Thorstenson.

Casketbearers were Carlyle, Richard and Clark Kolsrud, Ryan and Preston Kolsrud, Gary Mahr, and Eric and Damian Thorstenson.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (3 votes)