Woodbury County

Joseph Emil Ronfeldt





Joseph Emil Ronfeldt was born in Anthon, Iowa, on 30 April 1923, to Emil and Margie (Dawdy) Ronfeldt. Siblings are Elvina, Leo, Marvel, Marcel, and Clayton. Joe lived in the Climbing Hill area, graduating from Climbing Hill School in May 1943. He worked for Paul Paulsen, Sr. and farmed with his father.

Joe was drafted, 22 August 1944, entering the service at Fort Snelling, Minnesota and trained in Texas. He served in Germany, Central Europe, and Italy with the 42nd Division Company C, 232nd Infantry. He earned rank as Technician Fifth Grade. He saw action in Italy, Central Europe, and Germany, where he helped free prisoners from consideration camps. He lost several close friends fighting the war. He was discharged 1 July 1946, at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. Joe received the Army of Occupation Medal - Germany, the Good Conduct Medal, the European - African - Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, 2-Overseas Service Bars, a Lapel Button issued ASR score (2 Sep 45) 31.

Joe didn’t talk a lot about the war itself. He thought Germany was beautiful and would have loved to go to see the country today. He said the German people kept their country very clean and welcomed the scoffers warmly. He was awarded National Home Life Membership of the VFW Post 1971, Sioux City, Iowa, in July 1976. He also was a member of the Chapter 54 of the Disabled American Veterans in Sioux City. Joe didn’t care for the food while he was in the service. He traveled through Germany, France, and Italy.

Joe married Margaret Frances Gotto, 17 January 1949, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Oto. Children born to this union were: Linda, Judy, and Donald. He has six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He found employment in farming, carpentry, IBP, and was custodian at the Lawton- Bronson School for 19 1/2 years, retiring in 1990. He was a member of the Bronson City Council for 20 years. He was very active in the volunteer Fire Department and city ambulance service.

He enjoyed dancing, music, fishing, farming, and being with his family. He is remembered as a compassionate, honorable and dedicated man.

He died 17 March 1991 in a Sioux City hospital after a five year fight with cancer. He was laid to rest in St. Mary’s cemetery in Oto, with military graveside rites.

Submitted by Margaret Ronfeldt, his wife.