Robert D. Usgaard

Monday, March 21, 2016 7:01 pm

Robert D. Usgaard, 89, of Decorah, died Thursday morning, March 17, 2016, at his home in Decorah. Memorial services are at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Decorah Lutheran Church, with Rev. David Sorenson officiating. Organist is Kathy Murray. Congregational hymns are “Beautiful Savior,” “Lift High the Cross” and “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Honorary bearers are his seven grandchildren: Curtis, Daniel and Douglass Usgaard, Raymond and Joseph Usgaard, Elisabeth Crane and Sydney Simi. Private family inurnment with full military honors is in Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Decorah Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC)  Foundation, 901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101 or Decorah Lutheran Church Piano Fund, 309 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Robert Dean Usgaard was born Nov. 28, 1926, in Hesper Township, Winneshiek County, the son of Ole and Ida (Peterson) Usgaard. He was baptized Dec. 25, 1926, in Hesper Lutheran Church and confirmed in the Hauge Lutheran Church in October of 1941. He attended rural elementary schools and graduated from Decorah High School in 1945. He farmed with his dad until 1951, when he went to work for the Standard Oil Company in Decorah. From 1953-1955 he served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. Upon his discharge he continued his work with Standard Oil. He married Beth Hanson of Pelican Rapids, Minn., Nov. 17, 1956. They were blessed with five children: James, David, Thomas, Robert and Susan. Beth passed away in Feb., 1984. Bob was a successful business owner/operator for over four decades, leasing a Standard Oil Service Station in Independence from 1958-1971, and owning and operating the iconic Bob’s Standard in Decorah from 1971-2004. Bob was also co-owner of Usgaard Smith Sales and Service. Bob’s kind demeanor, attention to customer service and strong sense of community were the foundation of his business and volunteer efforts. He was an active member and volunteer at Decorah Lutheran Church and was very proud to play a role in organizing the Winneshiek Medical Center Foundation. In 1991 Luther College recognized Bob’s business and community service by awarding him the Distinguished Service Award. Bob was also honored to be included in the book “A Good Time to Be the Church” written by Bishop H. George Anderson while President of Luther College. Bob married Patricia Grindeland Aug. 8, 2004. They enjoyed traveling, remodeling their home and entertaining. His love for his family, friends, former customers and the community of Decorah were unending.

Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia (Grindeland) Usgaard; his five children and seven grandchildren: James Usgaard (Becky Knutson) of Urbandale, David (Amy) Usgaard and children, Curtis, Daniel and Douglass of Decorah, Thomas (Susan) Usgaard and children, Raymond and Joseph of Morton, Ill., Robert (Diane Granfors) Usgaard of Anchorage, Alaska and Susan (Brent) Simi and children, Elisabeth Crane of Dresser, Wis. and Sydney Simi of Ham Lake, Minn.; his sister, Lois (Gene) Albers of Ridgeway; two sisters-in-law, Margaret Usgaard of Decorah and Sharon (Bob) Lillie of Decorah; and two nephews, Rev. Harold (Lynette) Usgaard of Rosemount, Minn. and Richard (Jennifer) Kmieciak of San Francisco, Calif.; two nieces, Shannon (Chris) Winkle of Decorah and Shawn Tater of Dallas, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Beth, Feb. 18, 1984; and two brothers, Leo in infancy and Curtis, Dec. 13, 1988.

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