Donald Johnsrude

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Donald Johnsrude, 97, passed away on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at Soldiers Grove Health Services, where he had been a resident since September 2020. 

He was born May 14, 1924, to Josephine Johnsrude in Milwaukee. He grew up in Steuben, and was raised by his grandparents, Charles and Ellen Johnsrude. Farming was his passion. He farmed with his grandfather. He graduated from Boscobel High School in 1942. He courted a young school teacher, Eunice Grandstaff, the love of his life, and they were married on June 29, 1947. She passed away in March of 1993. Together they rented a farm near Fennimore for 3 years owned by Doc Tuckwood and then bought the Levrude farm in the Castle Rock area in 1950. They lived there for six years and then moved and bought a farm on North Clayton Ridge from Reuben Roth in 1956. Donald was a respected and trusted neighbor, very active in his community and on several boards including the North Clayton and Soldiers Grove school boards, Soldiers Grove Cheese Factory, Tri State Breeders, DHI, Farmers Union, Holstein Breeders for two terms, Clayton Township for 26 years including 12 years as chairman, Crawford County Board and Crawford County Fair Board for 22 years. He boasted that he was on the Board and was instrumental in ensuring the new grandstand was built. He was a 4-H leader for 28 years and with his wife, Eunice, started the North Clayton Cardinals 4-H Club. As a youth, he was a 4-H member and recalled showing a Guernsey calf when he was 12 years old. He then bought and showed a Holstein bull. His other passion was tractor pulling which he did for 60 years. He passed that passion onto his sons and grandson. He moved to Tennessee in 1966 and always found time to return to Wisconsin for the Soldiers Grove Dairy Days and the Crawford County Fair tractor pulls. Later in life, while in Tennessee, he trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was baptized. His last tractor pull was when he was 95 years old.

He is survived by his seven children: Margaret (Larry Jewell) Davidson, Linda (Jimmy Small) Garza, Steve (Mary Jo) Johnsrude, Donnie Johnsrude, Sue (Arnie) Klema, Alan (Tracy) Johnsrude, Paul (Tammy) Johnsrude; 18 grandchildren: Amy (Steve) Nichold, Angela Davidson, Amber Garza, Tristan (Laura) Johnsrude, Sara (Kevin Thomas) Diaz, Aaron Johnsrude, Anna (Hiram) Jackson, Melissa (Nathan) Baker, Stephanie Georgeson, Andrea (Takahira) Morlyama, RaeAnn Georgeson, Hans Georgeson, Charles “Chuck” Small and Betty Rogers; 19 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. 

He is further survived by his Tennessee stepfamily: three sons; Joel (Dela), John (Tina) and Jake (Kasey) Grubb; seven grandchildren: Atha (Michael) Booth, Jesse, Anna (Keith) Waack, Hannah, Jacob (Jaleesa) Grubb, Kaleb (Linda) Grubb, and Kody Grubb; and three great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his mother; his wife; and two sons-in-law, Roberto Garza and Tom Davidson.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Crawford County Fair Grandstand. Visitation will be held at the fairgrounds from 1 p.m. until the time of service. He will be laid to rest next to the love of his life, Eunice Johns-rude, at the North Clayton Cemetery. For the safety of everyone, face masks are required. Online condolences may be expressed at The family would like to thank Soldiers Grove Health Services and St. Croix Hospice for the wonderful care. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the North Clayton Methodist Church or the charity of your choice. 

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