Roger D. Syrstad, age 88 of Glenwood, died Thursday, April 6, 2023 at the Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Chapel in Glenwood. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in the summer at Indherred Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home.
Roger Dennis Syrstad, the son of John Leonard and Iris Jean (Ahlstrom) Syrstad, was born on February 19, 1935, in Milbank, SD. He was the oldest child of the couple and spent his early years in Albee, SD. At age 7 he moved with his parents, brother, and sister to Los Angeles where his parents were involved working in manufacturing as part of the war effort. He attended school in LA but spent many summers back in Minnesota staying with his aunt and uncle on their farm. He enlisted in the Navy while still in high school and spent 3 years traveling the world on the troop ship USS Lenawee. He was proud of his time in the service and shared many colorful stories of his adventures. While in port in Long Beach he went on a blind date and met Jo Ann Rieber at a dance. They eloped to Las Vegas and were married June 22, 1957.
Roger’s lifelong dream was to farm in Minnesota. He moved his family from California to Minnesota twice to work as a hired man. The first time was in 1958 helping his aunt and uncle by Wheaton and then again in 1960 near Louisburg. The family moved to Glenwood in 1961 because he had visited there and liked the town. He worked at Glenwood Manufacturing and Gyro Drive as a draftsman as he was trained in the profession and was very precise in everything he did. He was invited to join the rough fish crew at the Glenwood DNR in 1964 and worked there until he retired in 1997. He lived on his own little piece of heaven west of Glenwood by Pelican Lake and was able to realize his dream of farming. He raised sheep, hay, and some grain. In his retirement, he and Jo Ann planted acres of trees as habitat which attracted what came to be a large herd of deer. He built an addition to his house which included a woodshop for him and a sewing room for Jo Ann. In their retirement they spent many happy hours in those areas with their hobbies. He liked to hunt and fish and would meticulously fillet even the smallest sunfish for the grandchildren! In 1990 he shot a big buck in his pasture which earned him a place in the Boone and Crockett record books. He was very proud of that deer! Jo Ann passed away in 2005.
He and a neighbor, Joan Wolf, became good friends and eventually were engaged. They spent a lot of time in the outdoors and went dancing whenever possible. He became a member of the Lakeside Ballroom dance club and looked forward to their monthly dances. His dance partner, Joan, passed away in 2012. Roger continued to be a member and enjoyed going to dances for years.
Roger became a resident of the Glenwood Village Care Center in November 2021. He lived there until he passed away after a short illness on April 6, 2023.
Roger was preceded in death by his wife Jo Ann, daughter Wendy Rudell, grandson Ethan Rudell, Fiancé Joan Wolf, his parents, brother, Lowell “Sonny” Syrstad, and sister Carol Smith.
He is survived by daughter, Cindy (Wayne) Anderson, sons Daniel (Tina) Syrstad, and Samuel (Crystal) Syrstad. Grandchildren Nash Anderson, Noah (Mindy) Anderson, Erin Rudell, M and Colin Syrstad, Boris Smelov, Michael Slutsky, and Kane Kerber, and 8 great grandchildren Axel, Ivan, Rueben, Evangeline, and Eloise Anderson and, Emmett, Elliott, and Coraline Burbank and his faithful dance partner Tina Anderson.
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