Rolland B. Barsness

Rolland B. Barsness

MADISON–Rolland B. Barsness passed peacefully on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. He was born at home to Gerhard and Alyce Barsness of Edgerton, Wis. “Rollie” graduated from Edgerton High School class of 1936. Following WWII, he graduated from Madison Business College.

On Sept. 15, 1940, he and his high school sweetheart, Luella Schumaker, daughter of Carl and Anna Schumaker, were united in marriage at the Simpson Methodist Chapel in rural Dodgeville. His uncle, Rev. George Carver officiated as Aunt Nelsina played the old pump organ. Simpson Chapel was built in 1861; theirs was the first recorded wedding held there.

During World War II, Rollie proudly served in the South Pacific as QM 2/C aboard the destroyer USS Frazier DD-607. In 1980 the USS Frazier Reunion Association formed; he served on its board of directors and as their Chaplain conducting memorial services for departed shipmates.

He worked over 30 years for Madison Newspapers, Inc. (The Capital Times Company and Wisconsin State Journal) as an Auditor/Comptroller, and for Wisconsin State Journal Youth Services, Inc. (Empty Stocking Club). He felt privileged to have worked during the “Golden Years” of newspapering as he witnessed the transition from hot metal to cold metal to offset presses and from hand crank adding machines to sophisticated computers. He retired in 1977.

Rollie was intensely proud to be a second generation Norwegian-American and a tenth generation Welsh-American. His mother could trace her ancestry through three brothers who emigrated from Wales and settled in the Westerly, Rhode Island area before 1650.

Luella predeceased him in 2015, just prior to their 75th wedding anniversary. Surviving Rollie are his sister, Dorothy Gillette; son, John (Janine) Barsness; daughter, Linda (Phillip) Parker; niece, Judith Bonnet; granddaughter, Kathleen Barsness; grandson, James (Juliana) Parker; granddaughter, Lisa (Dan) Walker; three great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. A private family graveside service is planned.

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