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Ronald Rustad

October 12, 2018

Memorial Service - Tuesday

October 16, 2018
- 4:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Visitation - Tuesday

October 16, 2018
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo


Boulger Funeral Home

Ronald Rustad

October 12, 2018


Ronald L. Rustad, age 77, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2018 under the care of Ethos Hospice and surrounded by his loving family. Ron grew up and graduated from Hawley High School, where he excelled in several sports. He attended Concordia College on a football scholarship and graduated from Moorhead State University with a degree in elementary education.

He married his high school sweetheart Diane Bergan in 1961. They have 3 children, Mark (New Mexico), Sheila (Nevada), and Timothy (Lori) of Moorhead, MN, as well as their 3 grandchildren Nicole, Tyler, Mara, and great-granddaughters Charlee and Emma. Ron and Diane also feel blessed by their many lifelong friendships.

Ron began his teaching career in Canby, MN in 1964. He taught for 34 years in Moorhead (Probstfield and Edison Elementary Schools) before retiring in 1997. He enjoyed providing fun learning projects for his students, such as teaching them to weave on looms which he made for them. Ron also shared his love of the outdoors with students, developing the “Fin Fun” curriculum as part of a summer school enrichment program where students learned fishing skills and techniques. He and Diane continued to enjoy the company of other retired teachers and peers.

Ron was a very hard worker. In addition to teaching, he worked as a crop hail adjustor and part-time blackjack dealer. He was one of the first employees for charitable gaming in North Dakota, benefitting the Prairie Public Broadcasting System. Ron enjoyed weekly poker games with close friends throughout his retirement. Win or lose, he always looked forward to the next game with his buddies.

Ron also had many hobbies and talents. He was a self-taught guitar player and woodworker. He loved hunting, fishing and being outdoors – including time with the family pet Black Lab named Magic. A lifelong dream was realized in 1997 when the Lake Ida cabin was purchased. Ron spent several years remodeling it with help from his special buddy Orrin. He loved spending time at the Lake, always being the first to open in the spring and last to close up in the fall. Ron was the founding member of the Grumpy Old Men fishing club, which has continued the tradition of fishing together on opening week-end to its third generation. All the grandchildren and great-grandchildren were taught how to fish from the Lake Ida dock. It was a treat for family and friends to receive his perfectly deboned and filleted walleye or sunfish.

As a young family, many memories were made during camping adventures with a Chrysler station wagon and pop up camper. Ron and Diane enjoyed cruises as well as traveling throughout the US and European countries. In later years, they became snow birds, spending some winter months in a condo on the Gulf of Mexico Alabama shores where Ron spent many hours fishing on the beach. Throughout all the traveling, Lake Ida was always home.

Visitation and sharing of memories will be from 2:00 – 4:00pm, with service to begin at 4:00 pm at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo on Tuesday October 16, 2018.


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19 responses to “Ronald Rustad”

  1. Bob Mauseth says:

    Iā€™m so sorry for your loss. He was a favorite neighbor, teacher, summer school fin fun instructor, fish smoker, , adventure leader for Time and me, and friend. Wonderful memories and prayers shared, love

  2. Shellie Christensen says:

    Diane and family, so sorry for your loss. Ron was a favorite teacher to all 3 of our girls. Great neighbor for years. Ray & Shellie

  3. Liz says:

    Sheila, Diane, Mark and Tim-So sorry! My deepest sympathy on your loss! GOD bless you at this most difficult time! Love you xo Liz

  4. Pat & Mike Elton says:

    We are saddened to hear Ron has passed away. Ron and Dick, were best of friends and they always were hunting and fishing and enjoying all sports. May you always cherish your memories of Ron. God bless your family. Pat and Mike Elton.

  5. Elaine Pyle says:

    I have fond memories of a Mr. Rustad as my 6th-grade teacher from almost 40 years ago. Just wanted to share how he touched so many lives as a teacher. I”m sorry for your family’s loss.

  6. Shannon Hendrickson says:

    im so sorry to hear this thoughts and prayers šŸ™šŸ¼ Mr Rustad was my 6th grade teacher and my favorite

  7. Grace Cummings Pas says:

    My son Devlin is almost 33 years old. The early years at Thomas Edison were pretty rough, and he was almost put back in first grade. We hit the jackpot in 3rd grade with Mr. Rustad. He just connected with him and excelled after that. Devlin and I both helped with some wiring at the Lake Ida cabin and yes I remember his special relationship with Orrin. Devlin pursued several academic accomplishments and I had the opportunity to see Ron about 3 years ago to share this. I wish I would have told him he hunts and fishes too! Thank you Ron

  8. Don Barnard says:

    Mr. Rustad was my 6th grade teacher at Edison Elementary School in Moorhead way way back in 1973. I believe that was his first year teaching at Edison as well, it was my first year at Edison having come from Catholic school K-5th grade. We bonded over being newbies. What a profound impact he had on me, still does. His great teaching skills were matched by his kindness & generosity as a person. I was shy to say the least and he brought me out of my shell. His impact on me as a person still resonates today. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. Earl and Bev Wenthin says:

    Dear Rustad Family, Earl and I want you to know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time. We saw Ron’s obituary in the Sunday Forum. We were saddened to hear of his passing. Earl and Ron went to school together from 1st grade thru high school in Hawley Earl has many great memories spending time with Ron when they were kids. Rest in Peace, dear Ron.

  10. Kelly Scott says:

    Iā€™m so sorry for your loss. Mr. Rustad was my 3rd grade teacher and one of my favorites. He made school so much fun with memorable customs that I still think of with great warmth. Butterscotch candies will forever remind me of him and those wonderful days were he would read until the last one melted away. Thank you, Mr. Rustad for being such a kind and dedicated teacher who will forever live in my heart.

  11. Barbara Benda Nagle and Beverly Benda says:

    Diane and Family- Our deepest sympathies in the loss of Ron. May God hold you all in the palm of His hand and give you comfort and peace at this sad time. The video was beautifully done to show us what a rich life Ron led and how he shared his passions with his family. Our prayers are for you to feel the deep love of Jesus as you remember Ron’s life and look forward to seeing him again in Heaven, where, no doubt, the fishing will always be great.

  12. Letty Nelson says:

    Diane and family, my deepest sympathy for your loss.

  13. Bruce & Mary Ellen Lundstrom says:

    Diane and family,
    We are so sorry to hear of Ronnie’s passing. So many great memories of our adventures, most notably, beekeeping with Norman Roos and gopher trapping. He was a good buddy to me throughout all our younger days! Please know we are thinking of you and praying for you during this time of your loss.
    Again, so sorry,
    Bruce & Mary Ellen Lundstrom

  14. Nancy Elliott says:

    My deepest sympathy to Diane and family. May Ron Rest In Peace.

  15. Kerry (Hendricksen) Petsinger says:

    I had the privilege of being one of Mr. Rustad’s students at Edison, and he was an awesome teacher. Thinking about your family as you grieve the loss of a very special man.

  16. Linda (Olson) Thom says:

    Mr. Rustad (Ron) was my absolute favorite teacher ever. I have so many fond memories and have shared so many fond memories of the fun times I had in his 6th grade classroom at Probsfield Elementary over the years. I remember him playing guitar for us and singing songs sitting out on the stairs outside the classroom, making the pot holders on the looms he made for each student, learning classroom fishing skills, decoupaging gifts for our parents for christmas and many other wonderful “crafts”. I believe he inspired me to learn in so many ways beyond the classroom, his humor and warmth, his ability to make everyone in his classroom comfortable and ready to learn. He made each of his students feel special. I am honored to have known him and remember his special and fun talents as my teacher. RIP Mr. Rustad and I hope you are leading the masses in singing and strumming your guitar.

  17. Linda (Olson)Thom says:

    Yes, and how he loved to sing Johnny Cash songs-learned most of them from him!!

  18. Joel Nelson says:

    So sad to hear that Mr. Rustad has passed. For no particular reason, I was thinking of him today while driving in my car. He was my 6th grade teacher (and wrestling coach) at Probstfield the year it opened (1966 I think). He took a special interest in a tall, skinny, shy kid. Of all my teachers, through many years of school, none of them touched my life like he did.

  19. David C Schaum says:

    I’m so sorry I wasn’t made aware of Ron’s passing over three years ago. Just yesterday, I was just thinking of him, and happened upon this site. He was my 6th grade and “Fin Fun” teacher in 1976, and I still use the fishing knots and the many skills I learned to this day. While attending Moorhead State, I came back and asked Ron if I could be his teaching assistant for a class I was taking. Of course he welcomed me, and encouraged me to stay in education. I remember a day when Ron showed me one of the “perks” of being a teacher, when he “snuck” out a bit early after school to go pheasant hunting. I’m sure this was a rarity, as we are well aware of Ron’s unparalleled dedication and work ethic. His guidance and encouragment led me to a 32 year career teaching science and special education, while always fishing and hunting as much as possible. He even wrote me an encouraging letter during my first year of teaching upon learning I was a fishing guide and middle school teacher, from an article he saw in an outdoor magazine. I’m so glad I had the chance to write him back and thank him for influencing my life like he did. Mr. Rustad was so encouraging to all his students, making sure everyone always felt special and welcome. I believe he was everyone’s favorite teacher. In my gun safe I still have my 1976 report card from “Fin Fun”, in which Ron commented on how I caught the most fish in the history of the class. He kept meticulous records, and even invited my parents on the last day for a little award ceremony to honor my accomplishments. Ron truly shaped my future. He touched countless lives, and will be forever missed and cherished by everyone lucky enough to have experienced the magic of Mr.Rustad. RIP Ron.

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