Curtis D. Benrud, age 61, of Owen, passed away at home on Monday, January 2, 2017. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Owen. Rev. Roger Benrud will officiate. Family and friends are welcome from 12:00 p.m. until the time of service Saturday at the funeral home.
Curtis was born in Black River Falls, WI on July 21, 1955, the son of James and Sophie (Groenwoldt) Benrud. He grew up in Melrose. His youth was spent working on local farms, instilling a love for farm life, the care of animals and raising the best Angus cattle. During his high school years, as a Melrose-Mindoro Mustang, he was a football standout as a tackle and his jersey number of “73” was retired. Curt went to state in wresting and had a lifelong love for the sport and supporting any family or friend that wrestled.
He received a certification in Wood Techniques from WWTC in La Crosse and worked for Lunda Construction, where he seriously injured his back. Curt earned a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy from UW-Milwaukee. He worked for Marshfield Home Health as an Occupational Therapist for many years and cared deeply for his clients, especially the children. Curt was a bus driver for Owen-Withee schools, enjoying getting to know the students on his route. He was united in marriage to Diane Sixberry on October 1, 1988 at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Withee.
Curt and Diane shared a passion for deer and turkey hunting. He was so proud that Diane could shoot a turkey with her bow. He loved being in the woods with Diane for hunting and sharing in their success. Curt was proud to be an instructor for hunter safety.
Curt had a passion for the history of his Norwegian ancestors and their immigration to the Westby - Coon Valley area in Western Wisconsin. He was on the Benrud Family Board of Directors and was instrumental in planning many reunions throughout the years. He organized the family’s donation of the Benrud Little White Chapel to Norskedalen, a Norwegian heritage center in Coon Valley. The chapel is part of his legacy to the family and history that he loved.
Even though health issues got in the way of his daily life he could always find the positive strength to help and support family and friends. He was always there for the people that he cared for.
Curt served on the Owen-Withee Fire and Ambulance Department for a number of years.
He cared deeply for his nieces and nephews. Curt would stop whatever he was doing to assist, anyone at any time, to do anything, without giving a second thought to his own best interests. He was always a mentor and respected for his strong personal character. His smile was infectious and you couldn’t help but smile back.
Curtis is survived by his wife, Diane of Owen; his parents, James and Sophie Benrud of Melrose; his sister, Peggy (Robert) McMahon of Ladysmith and his brother, Allen (Amy Gilliland) Benrud of Madison. He is further survived and touched the lives of his nieces and nephews, and their partners: Kameo Maynard, Jason Benrud, Annie Benrud, Seth Benrud, Heath Benrud, Amy Benrud Bodin, Brian Benrud, Tim McMahon, Kenneth McMahon, Megan McMahon O'Connor, Kathryn McMahon, Courtney Frohling, Matthew and Michael Kasmirek; Father-in-law, Del Lussenden; Brother-in-law, Matthew (Robin) Sixberry; many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his brother and Sister-in-law, Bruce and Ruth Benrud and Mother-in-law, Dee Lussenden.
Memorials can be given to Norskedalen (for maintenance of the Little White Benrud Chapel), Owen-Withee Hunter’s Safety, Owen-Withee-Curtiss Fire Department, Owen-Withee Ambulance service or Wisconsin Public Television, all organizations that were especially important to Curt.