Elwood A. Throndrud
WORLD WAR II VETERAN
The world has lost another member from The Greatest Generation. Elwood Throndrud, of Ortonville, MN, died from pancreatic cancer on May 12th, just three days before his 90th birthday. We have lost a luminous force in our lives but there is much to celebrate in his life.
Elwood was born on a farm near Dawson, Minnesota to Gerhard and Selma Throndrud and graduated from Dawson High School in 1940.
Following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, Elwood interrupted his education at the University of Minnesota to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He attended Purdue University and received his Naval Officer's Commission from Columbia University Midshipmen's School. Serving in the Pacific Fleet as Lieutenant JG onboard LST 986, Elwood participated in five invasion landings at Guam, Leyte, Mindoro, Luzon, and Okinawa. He was awarded medals for combat action, occupation, liberation and victory and was proud to have served with so many heroes from the Greatest Generation. Elwood remained in contact with veterans from his ship, coordinating their last reunion in 2004 at WW II Memorial dedication in Washington, DC.
Following military service, Elwood graduated from the University of Minnesota and returned to his home town to join his father in the livestock business. In 1948, he began a 34-year banking career in Dawson, Minnesota, never missing a day of work. Elwood married Gloria Fauskee, a very attractive school teacher from Brooten, Minnesota, the following year. Gloria was the love of his life and together they shared many ordinary moments that added up to an extraordinary life together.
In 1955, Elwood and Gloria moved to Ortonville and raised four children; David, Susan, Mary and Nancy. He treasured his family and was deeply cherished in return. Perhaps the greatest legacy left by Elwood was the difference he made in the life of his son David as he nurtured him and others with special needs.
Elwood attended the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking. He held positions of Director, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Northwestern State Bank of Ortonville, retiring in 1982. During this time, he held director and treasurer positions at the Minnesota Bankers and American Bankers Associations. Elwood then served 16 years as Big Stone County Commissioner and after this second retirement, he devoted his time to enjoying his grandchildren Kai, Kristen and Max Hanson who all agree that his wisdom and kindness really made a difference in their lives.
Elwood was a steady presence in the Ortonville area for 57 years. He tirelessly served the community as President of the Kiwanis Club, Trustee of First English Lutheran Church, Director of Civic and Commerce, Chairman of the Airport Commission, Chamber of Commerce President, and member of the V.F.W. He was the first President of Big Stone Association of Retarded Children, Big Stone County Developmental Achievement Center and Monarch Heights community group home. Most recently, he served as a Board Member for the Southwest Initiative Foundation. His hard work and gentle nature made him a perfect fit for community service and earning the WCCO Radio Good Neighbor Award was one of the highlights in his life.
Elwood was a licensed commercial pilot, boating enthusiast on Big Stone Lake, photographer and farming devotee. He spent many hours on his 240-acre family farm near Dawson MN and kept current on corn and soybean prices, rainfall and farming trends. His earned the moniker "Lawn Ranger" from endless hours spent behind his Toro lawnmower, creating a carpet of grass that was the envy of the Ortonville Golf course greens keepers. He was an avid golfer and was so proud of his "hole-in-one" at Madden's Golf Course in Brainerd. But his favorite hobby was driving his 2002 Thunderbird convertible in local parades to honor the 407, 316 Americans who lost their lives in WW ll. He truly enjoyed 90 years of living, loving and serving.
Elwood is survived by wife of 62 years, Gloria; children Susan Throndrud of Minneapolis, Mary Throndrud of Edina, Nancy Hanson (Mikal) of Pierre, SD; grandchildren Kai Hanson of Mankato, Max Hanson of St. Peter and Kristen Hanson of Fargo, ND. He was predeceased by parents, sister Mavis Juggenheimer, and son David.
Elwood Throndrud left this world a better place than he found it, looked for the best in others and gave it the best he had. Much love followed him to Heaven, where he celebrates his 90th birthday on May 15th with David. Happy Birthday Dad!
The Throndrud Family would like to express their gratitude to the staff of Ortonville Area Health Services, Roger Maris Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, and Willmar Rice Hospice for the excellent care which was given. Dr Allan Ross, Dr. Preston Steen, Chemotherapy Nurses Lori Larson, Sharon Botker, Ardell Hasslen, Lab Technician Kandra Carlson and Hospice Angels Lois Banken, Peggy Johnson and Jennifer Miska provided extraordinary comfort and dignity for Dad's final journey.
Visitation will be from 5-7 on Thursday, May 17 at the Mundwiler Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville. The Memorial Service will be held on Friday, May 18th at 11:00 AM at the First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in Dawson at 3:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are welcome at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosencrans Ave, #200, Manhatten Beach, CA 90266 or Stars and Stripes Honor Flight at PO Box 636, Port Washington, WI 53074.
Mundwiler Larson Funeral Home in Ortonville is in charge of arrangements.
Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home
401 NW 2nd Street
Ortonville, MN 56278
Thursday, May 17, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
First English Lutheran Church
9 3rd Street NW
Ortonville, MN 56278
Friday, May 18, 2012
Grace Lutheran Cemetery
Friday, May 18, 2012