Dennis Paul Bolstad

Dennis Paul Bolstad

  • Funeral Date: 2/28/15
  • Funeral Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • Date of Birth: 8/07/25
  • Date of Death: 2/13/15
  • Funeral Location: Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Menomonie, WI

Dennis Paul Bolstad, 89, passed away at the Northfield (MN) Hospital on February 13th, 2015. Born August 7th, 1925, in New London MN to a Norwegian immigrant father and Swedish mother, he grew up in Spicer MN, graduated from Willmar High School, and joined the U.S. Navy, serving with the Seabees in the South Pacific during World War II. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at St. Olaf College, a Master of Education degree at Macalester College, and a Doctor of Education degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Dennis married Marie Trodahl in 1951 and together they raised five children, all graduating from Menomonie High School, and through 17 consecutive years of at least one child in college, sent them to St. Olaf College, Macalester College, Concordia College (Moorhead), Cornell College (Iowa) and Gustavus Adolphus College.

Dennis taught high school English and History in Mahtomedi MN and was the high school principal in Lake Benton MN, but spent most of his working life at Stout State College, Stout State University, and the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie WI, mostly teaching psychology, philosophy and education courses. An active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, he also served the community with Habitat for Humanity, and received, with Marie, a volunteer-of-the-year award from the Governor of Wisconsin for work with displaced youth in the Menomonie area.

Always an iconoclast, when Dennis saw wrong he tried to right it. As a young student he wore a dress to school to protest a dress code treating city and country kids differently. He was also known to refuse to pay the war tax on the telephone bill, to give final exams in the middle of the term, to refuse to join the union, to run a bookstore out of his office, to buy and sell enough used cars that he was told he would need a dealer’s license to sell any more, and to convince his colleagues that they should all take a pay cut so that another colleague could be retained in the department.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, Johannes and Lavinia (Johnson) Bolstad, and his brothers John, Robert and Don. He is survived by his wife Marie, his sister and brother-in-law Jane and Robert Parr, his sister-in-law June, his children (in-law): Peder, Rolf, Ruth (Dave Chapman), Arne (Karen) and Thor, his grandchildren: Drake, Quinn, Morgan, Peyton, Trace, Webb, and Gretta, and his nieces and nephews: Laura, Tom, Cindy, Steven, Jeanne, and Carol.

Though not by blood, Dennis is also survived by his ‘Chinese kids’ – Stout students from Taiwan (and their extended family) who lived with Dennis and Marie through their college years and continue to stay in touch.

A memorial service will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (910 9th Street) in Menomonie WI on February 28th: 10 a.m. Fellowship with Swedish pancakes and cheeses, 11 a.m. service of celebration.

Memorials to your charity choice – Dennis had many!

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