James R. Rustad
Jan. 15, 1931 - Jan. 4, 2007 WILLMAR -- James Ralph Rustad, 75, of Mesa, Ariz., formerly of Willmar, died Jan. 4 at his home in Mesa, Ariz. The service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Burial will be at Hillside C...
Jan. 15, 1931 - Jan. 4, 2007
WILLMAR -- James Ralph Rustad, 75, of Mesa, Ariz., formerly of Willmar, died Jan. 4 at his home in Mesa, Ariz.
The service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Burial will be at Hillside Cemetery in Kerkhoven.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar, with parish prayers at 7:30 p.m., and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Military Honors will be provided by Willmar American Legion Post 167. Memorials are preferred to the VA Medical Centers in St. Cloud or Phoenix, Ariz.
He was born Jan. 15, 1931, in Kerkhoven to Clarence and Clara (Strom) Rustad. He lived in that area during his early years and then moved to Sibley State Park with his family. He graduated from New London High School in 1949. He attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., for two years. He returned to the area and worked as a clerk for the Great Northern Railroad. He joined the Army in 1951 and served during the Korean War. He returned to Willmar and served as the administrator for the National Guard Armory from 1953 until 1958.
He married Ruth Mattson on June 5, 1953, in New London. They later divorced. They lived in Willmar and then moved to Rochester in 1959. He worked as a salesman for Business Men's Associates Insurance Company.
He married Carol Benson on May 30, 1968, in Spicer. They later divorced. They lived in Rochester and he sold insurance for Franklin Life, Life Investors and Midland Life. He received multiple regional and national sales leadership awards and achieved the Million Dollar Roundtable numerous times. He retired and they moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1983. He returned to the Willmar area for a short time and had just recently moved to Mesa, Ariz.
He was a past commander of the Masonic Lodge in Belgrade and a former member of the Corpus Cristi Church in the Phoenix, Ariz.
He is survived by three children: Jim (and Mary) Rustad of Rochester, Jack (and Siri) Rustad of Zimmerman, Laurie Denning of Willmar; seven stepchildren: Phil (and Cathy) Benson of Bartlett, Ill., Brian (and Mary) Benson of New London, Rob (and Renee) Benson of Rochester, Cindy (and Kurt) Wachtler of Richardson, Texas, Linda (and Greg) Miller of Cottage Grove, Becky Evans of Bartlett, Ill., Connie (and Terry) Wagner of Glendale, Ariz.; five grandchildren; 20 stepgrandchildren; and seven stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one son: Gerry Rustad in 1970; his first wife; and one brother.