WESTBY, WI - Ronald (Ronnie) Edgar Brudos, 83, of Westby, formerly of Retreat, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 14, 2022. He was born in La Crosse on November 11, 1938, the son of Orvey and Leone (Elvin) Brudos, dairy farmers from Nottingham Ridge outside of Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Ronnie attended a one-room schoolhouse in Purdy before going on to graduate from Viroqua High School in 1956. His early work included a milk-can hauling route and farming with his brother Elvin in Retreat. He joined the Army in 1961 and served at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado until 1963. During this time, he married Vivian Kay Shields (later divorced) and upon discharge was employed at G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse where he made many friends while living in Stoddard. In 1969 the Oscar Bakke Estate was purchased near Retreat, and he started his farming career tending to pigs, beef cattle, and raising tobacco. Additional property was purchased in 1974 to add a dairy milking operation which led to the building of a new barn, silos, machine shed, and outbuildings in 1977. He enjoyed working with hired hands from the local community, providing them guidance and direction while developing their work ethic. Hired help allowed many family vacations to the east coast, and business trips while serving on the Federal Land Bank Board of Directors. They worked diligently to meticulously maintain the expanding farm operation as his pride and joy.
In 1985, his joy for life was sparked by his marriage to Pauline (Ekern) Hendrickson, a high school classmate. They built a new horse barn for his new love's hobby and continued farming until 2002 when they retired to their home on the Mississippi River in Victory where he enjoyed watching the eagles fly over the barges passing by on the river in their front yard. They enjoyed many leisure ventures together throughout their marriage including dancing, and coast to coast travel including trips to the Rose Bowl, Hawaii, Canada, and Mexico, as well as playing cards and telling stories. During their 36 years of marriage their primary focus was attending as many family gatherings and events as possible to see their blended-family grandchildren grow up, and were present at multiple baptisms, confirmations, birthdays, Vernon County Fair showings, graduations, bull riding, state high school wrestling championships, national collegiate wrestling championships, weddings, and holiday events.
Ronnie enjoyed meeting people and making new friends throughout his life, especially when traveling with their camper around the country during retirement. In his latter years, he also became president of the Walnut Mound Cemetery in Retreat and volunteered at Bethel Butikk in Westby continuing his community contributions. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was most proud of his three grandsons, Chad, Cole, and Dylan, taking over the operation of the family farm started in 1969. Ronnie was a gentle, humble soul who loved his family and took great pride in his community. He will be missed by all.
Ronnie is survived by his dear wife of 36 years of marriage, Pauline. He is also survived by his children, Cheryl (Lee) Johnson of Retreat, and Jeff (Jean Jones) Brudos of Jacksonville, Florida; Pauline's children David (Jerrilyn) Hendrickson of La Crosse, Daniel (Connie) Hendrickson of Viroqua, and Nathan (Tamara) Hendrickson of Viroqua; grandchildren Chad (Erica) Johnson, Cole Johnson, Dylan (friend, Hayley Cade) Johnson all of Retreat, Aden Jones and Liam Jones of Jacksonville, Florida; and great-grandchildren Clint Steven Ronald Johnson, and Mia, Easton, and Leighton Theobald; Pauline’s 10 grandchildren, Jamie (Caleb) Thomas of Chippewa Falls, Samuel Hendrickson of La Crosse, Avery Hendrickson of La Crosse, Lisa (Jake) Luehmann of West Salem, Leah (Justin) Monroe of Viola, Sara (Aaron) Hagen of Hartford, Drew (Jess) Hendrickson of Viroqua, Tanner Elbert, Reggie and Ross Hendrickson of Viroqua; 9 great grandchildren, Alayna, Christian, Miles, Evalyn, Paige, Lexi, Ben, Cory and Mack; his siblings Orlin Brudos, Elvin (Rhea) Brudos, Garry (Sandy) Brudos and Carol Knorr; Pauline's siblings Duane (Stacey) Ekern of Lake Geneva, Alice Ann (Harold) Olson of Westby, Christine (Bob) Netwal of San Diego California, and sister-in-law Eldoris Ekern of Viroqua, along with many other relatives and friends.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his parents, Orvey and Leone Brudos, brother, Fay and his wife Laverne, infant brother, Luther, brother-in-law, George Knorr, brother-in-law, Raymond Ekern, and great-grandson Cal Lee Gordon Johnson.
Services will be held at South West Prairie Lutheran Church, S8466 Prairie Rd, Viroqua, WI 54665 on Thursday, April 21, 2022 as follows: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visitation; 1:00 p.m. Memorial Service, followed by a graveside burial service at Walnut Mound Cemetery E3608 County Rd N, De Soto, WI 54624 and then a celebration of life luncheon gathering at Retreat Sportsmans Club in downtown Retreat.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations to Walnut Mound Cemetery are requested via their mailing address: E3666 Hayden Road, De Soto, WI 54624
The Roth Family Cremation Center is serving the family.
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