Rodney J. “Rod” Sturm

Rodney J. “Rod” Sturm

Rodney J. Sturm, M.D., age 88, passed away peacefully on September, 22, 2019 at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.

Rod was born on January 27th, 1931 in Shawano, WI to Bergliot (Humleker) and Elmer Sturm. He spent most of his childhood in Fond du Lac, WI, and attended Goodrich High School where he would meet and then later marry his wife of 63 years, Catherine (Theisen) Sturm, on June 19, 1954.

Rod and Cathy were longtime residents of Madison. Both received their undergraduate degrees, and also for Rod his medical degree, from UW-Madison. While completing his residency in Madison, Rod was drafted and served three years with the Air Force stationed in Tripoli, Libya. Cathy moved with him and they were able to travel through Europe extensively when Rod had leave. Many wonderful memories were made during those few years abroad.

Upon their return, Rod spent a year at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL, studying Neuro-Opthalmology. They eventually returned to Madison and in 1964 Rod joined the Davis Duehr Eye Clinic as the only Neuro-Opthalmologist in Madison. For many years, Rod was also an Associate Clinical Professor at UW-Madison where he taught surgery to Ophthalmology residents. Rod served as Chief of Staff of Davis Duehr from 1985 – 1995 and was instrumental in obtaining the right to build the Davis Duehr Day Surgery Center in 1987 which was the first outpatient center of its kind in the Madison area. Davis Duehr and Dean merged to become the Davis Duehr Dean clinic in 1995. Rod continued to practice at the Dean West clinic until his retirement in 2015 at the age of 85, his Opthalmology career spanning an amazing 56 years.

Rod was a loving father to two sons, Peter and Eric. Many hours were spent on model trains and spectating or coaching their various sports events. Golf and downhill skiing were two favorite activities for the entire family. Rod hit the slopes with his boys for the last time in Colorado when he was 80 years old. He was also an avid gardener. For several years when the boys were growing up he had his own acre sized garden growing fruits and vegetables and in later years planted an abundance of flowers around their home for Cathy to enjoy.

Rod is survived by his two sons, Peter (Mark), and Eric (Lori) and two grandchildren, Maddy and Tucker, also a brother Richard (Vicki) Sturm and sister Bergliot Luedtke as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Cathy, and sister Carol.

A gathering will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m. A private family burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Rod and Cathy’s name to Agrace Hospice Care in Fitchburg, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 or

Although Rod recently said that he “didn’t do anything exceptional, I just did my job” we, his family, think he was truly an exceptional husband, father, friend, and man. He will be greatly missed by many.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
(608) 238-3434