Robert Sylvester Torgerson was born on September 28, 1917 in a log house built in the 1880's on the Torgerson farm 1½ miles southeast of Deer Park, the eldest son of Harry and Amanda (Krueger) Torgerson. He died on January 31, 2005 at the age of 87 years. A sister, Genevieve (Mrs. Melvin Heibel), born in 1920 and brother Douglas (Beverly) born in 1926 were the other children of Harry and Amanda Torgerson.
Bob grew up in Deer Park and attended grade school there. He graduated from high school in New Richmond and completed his college degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He began his teaching and coaching career in the high school at Spring Valley, Wisconsin.
Bob married his college sweetheart Wynona Pearl Burton of Bass Lake.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II, received his wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1943, and then flew for the Air Transport Command, ferrying "shot-up" bombers from Europe to storage areas in the western United States. During this time, Pearl and Byron, the first born son, lived in the Krueger building apartments in Deer Park. Second son, Robert joined them there in 1944. Twin sons were born to Bob and Pearl in 1946, only one surviving, Barry Leigh. The other twin is buried on the family lot at Calvary Cemetery in Deer Park.
Bob returned from the Air Corps and went back to the University of Minnesota and obtained his Master's degree in education.
Bob then enrolled in the University of Minnesota Dental School graduating in 1951 and maintained his dental practice in Stillwater, Minnesota. Throughout the many years of Bob's and the three sons' education, Pearl helped support the family by teaching elementary education in Stillwater School District 834. The eldest son, Byron, became a dentist and took over his father's practice. Second son, Robert, graduated from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and practices as an Oral Surgeon in Missoula, Montana. Third son, Barry took up the Torgerson trade of carpentry and contracting. From the three Torgerson sons came seven daughters thus ending the family name.
Robert is survived by devoted wife, Wynona Pearl; sons, Byron (Randi), Robert (Patricia) and Barry; granddaughters, Melissa, Kara, Laura, Lisa, Paige, Courtney and Lindsey; great-grandchildren, Tianna, Erika, Thomas and Kiley; brother, Douglas (Beverly); sister, Genevieve (Melvin) Heibel; many nieces and nephews. Donnie (first cousin to Robert) and Bernice Krueger of Deer Park are among the surviving relatives.
The funeral was held in St. Paul on Friday, February 4, 2005, 2:00 P.M. at the BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER. Visitation was Thursday 5-8 P.M. Burial was in Deer Park at Calvary Cemetery on February 5th. Arrangements were handled by the Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services of 1078 Rice Street, St. Paul, MN.
(Text and Information compiled by Lowell Fouks)
Torgerson, Robert - Stillwater Dentist Sept. 28, 1917-Jan 31, 2005 Survived by devoted wife, Wynona Pearl; sons, Byron (Randi), Robert (Patricia) and Barry; granddaughters, Melissa, Kara, Laura, Lisa, Paige, Courtney and Lindsey; great-grandchildren, Tianna, Erika, Thomas and Kiley; brother, Douglas (Beverly); sister, Genevieve (Melvin) Heibel; many nieces and nephews. Service Friday 2 PM at BRADSHAW CELEBRATION OF LIFE CENTER, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd (NW corner of Hwy 36 and Cty Rd 5). Private Interment. Visitation Thursday 5-8PM and one hour prior to service. Memorials preferred for Roberts longterm caregivers. Bradshaw 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater 651-439-5511.
(Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press February 2-3, 2005)
September 28, 1917 - January 31, 2005
Robert Torgerson, 87, a Stillwater dentist for more than 25 years, died January 31, 2005. He is survived by devoted wife, Wynona Pearl; sons, Byron (Randi), Robert (Patricia) and Barry; granddaughters, Melissa, Kara, Laura, Lisa, Paige, Courtney and Lindsey; great-grandchildren, Tianna, Erika, Thomas and Kiley; brother, Douglas (Beverly); sister, Genevieve (Melvin) Heibel; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials are preferred for Robert's long-term caregivers. Arrangements were handled by Bradshaw, Stillwater, Minn.
Born September 28, 1917, Torgerson was raised in Deer Park and graduated from New Richmond High School at age 16. He graduated from River Falls State Teachers College at age 20. In 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force, where he served as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War II.
In 1945, he taught General Science to the freshman class ('49) at the New Richmond High School.
As a student in Torgerson's class, Tom Quinlan, major, USAF (Ret.) command pilot, of Amery was enthralled when Torgerson spoke about flying and how aviation related to general science.
"One day he showed us a film taken from the cockpit of an airplane as it approached to land at Willow Run Airport and explained the dynamics of landing a heavy aircraft gently as it approached stalling speed," Quinlan said. "It's a science. I was hooked - on flying."
"Thank you Mr. Torgerson for being a mentor," he added. "Rest in peace."
(New Richmond News - Thursday, February 24, 2005)