Sunday, June 16, 2013

Obituary: Donald Ritchey Stroud, Sr. - Class of 1934

MADISON - Prominent attorney and lifelong Madison resident Donald Ritchey Stroud Sr., age 96, died June 12, 2013, at Attic Angel Place in Middleton, where he had been a resident for six years and at one time served as a member of its board. Over the years he also served on the board of Madison's first shopping center, Hilldale, as well as the boards of United Way, Madison General Hospital (now Meriter Hospital) and was council to the Henry Vilas Trust. He was an elder at Christ Presbyterian Church and a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In 1957, at age 40, he was elected president of Madison Downtown Rotary Club, at that time the youngest president the club had ever had. Born March 1, 1917, to Ray M. and Miriam Ritchey Stroud he attended Lincoln Elementary School and Central High School in Madison before enrolling in Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. After earning his law degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he worked for a short period with the Milwaukee law firm of Shea and Hoyt. On the eve of Pearl Harbor he joined the U.S. Army's Officer Cadet School, later working in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps in Chicago before being deployed to the European Theater. He was part of the invasion on Omaha Beach in France in 1944 and later fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945, First Lt. Stroud was cited by the Army for his work with the Army Counter Intelligence Corps. He left the Army as a Captain. Two days after joining the army he married Betty "Burky" Burghardt, whose family started Burghardt Sporting Goods of Milwaukee. He courted her in Three Lakes, Wis., where their respective families owned cottages on opposite shores of Big Fork Lake. The Stroud cottage was named Knokachoo because it served as a refuge from summer allergies. With no telephone service at the time, he would use a red or green lantern set on the pier to signal his arrival by boat or car. Their family cottages are still enjoyed by subsequent generations. In 1947, he joined the Madison law firm that included his father, Ray, and later his brother, Seward "Dick" Stroud. It is now Stroud, Willink & Howard, LLC. Outside the firm, he loved woodworking and much of the furniture he crafted now resides with his children. Along with his wife, he also loved family snow skiing trips, sailing, water skiing and boating, sports his children still enjoy. Betty died in 1977 at age 57. He would later marry Nancy Stotzer of Milwaukee who died 10 years later. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Seward. Survivors include his sister, Claire Oetking, of Madison; five children, Susan Stroud (Gus Plumb) of Fort Collins, Colo., Steve Stroud (Carol Stogsdill) of Pasadena, Calif., Donald Stroud Jr. (Mardi Laudon) of Madison, Doug Stroud (Claudia Hall) of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and Peter Stroud of Middleton; nine grandchildren, Heather, Wendy, Donald III (Tripp), Scott, Adam, Bradley, Hattie, Kaia and Steve; five great-grandchildren, Aidan, Ian, Myah, Quinn and Zoe. His family plans a private memorial.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 16, 2013. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Donald Stroud's class year is based on information in the 1934 Orange & Black yearbook, where he is pictured amongst the graduating seniors.

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