Rollo Edward Brunsell, Bradenton, FL/formerly of Orfordville, WI (1919-2014)
January 14, 1919 - January 15, 2014
Rollo Edward Brunsell, of Bradenton, FL passed away January 15, 2014 one day after his 95th birthday. He was born in Evansville, WI January 14, 1919 to John G. Brunsell and Hazel (Bourbeau) Brunsell. All who knew him will remember him as an accomplished and extraordinary person with great ambition, ingenuity and a wonderful sense of humor. His motivation to create and innovate was always driven by need. As a young boy he engineered a telegraph system to communicate with the neighbor. At age 18, when the family could not afford to wire the farm in rural Evansville he studied a book on “how to wire a house” and proceeded to wire the entire family farm. He worked for Union Co-op in Evansville before entering the Army in 1942. He was stationed in Puerto Rico with the Signal Corp. performing teletype repair and was honorably discharged in 1945. After the Army he joined his brother John to run the family dairy farm in Evansville from 1945 to 1960. To more efficiently move cows for milking, he invented a vacuum-operated milking parlor door-opener. It was patented “Rollador” in 1962 and used primarily for milking parlors but also in printing plants in the US, Canada and Germany. After the farm was sold in 1960 he worked at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit, WI as an electrician and received an award for an innovation that greatly improved plant operations. In 1964 he purchased the old Beck schoolhouse at auction in Orfordville, WI and converted it into a homestead where he hosted many family picnics. Rollo’s rural home became distinct and well- known in the community because of a solar unit he designed and built during the energy crisis in 1973. He also included a photography studio and a Persian room in his home and he fashioned unique home and yard furniture by incorporating old farm implements. In retirement he became interested in bird watching and painting of homes and barns. He built numerous bird houses displayed on his property and sold and gave away many good paintings. His painting of the first firehouse hangs in the Orfordville fire station. He was an active member of the Luther Valley Historical Society in Footville, WI where he compiled an extensive history of local veterans. After he suffered a stroke in May, 1997 he auctioned most all of his possessions, sold his home and moved to (Bradenton Tropical Palms Park) Bradenton, FL. He quickly adapted and educated himself about digital cameras and computers. He became proficient making fliers and tickets for social activities at the Park. He also researched Brunsell and Bourbeau genealogy and put together a comprehensive family history catalog complete with photos and stories. Rollo lived his faith and was happiest helping others. He also had an appreciation for animals and was devoted to many pets. He has left his family with an abundance of warm and happy memories and he will be deeply missed. Rollo Brunsell was preceded in death by his beloved parents and brother Peter Brunsell. He is survived by his brother John W. Brunsell of Bradenton, FL, sisters Edith (Brunsell) Schueler of Madison, WI, Ruth (Brunsell) Dresser of Prairie Du Sac, WI and numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. GRIFFITH CLINE FUNERAL HOME is assisting the family. Condolences to www.griffithcline.com A memorial service will be held in the spring of the year at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, WI.