Eugene “Gene” Paul Roemhildt danced the polka through the pearly gates of heaven on Sunday, October 15 after living a very full and happy life. He was 91 years old.
Gene was born on October 9, 1932 in the Iosco Township of Waseca County to Paul and Mercedes Roemhildt. Gene grew up on the family farm and graduated from Waseca High School in 1950. He worked as a farmer until 1953 when he was drafted in the US Army during the Korean War. He served in Frankfuhrt, Germany with the 4th Infantry Division and discharged in 1955. He was proud of his service and always felt it was the Army who “made a man out of him”. In 1960, he married Bonnie (Bartelt) who was a high school classmate.
Gene appreciated the value of education and graduated in 1964 from Mankato State University with a degree in Elementary Education. He taught elementary education in Waseca for 3 years while he earned a master’s degree in educational psychology.
He and Bonnie had two sons, Steve and Mark, while living on the farm in Waseca. They later moved to St. Peter in 1970 where Gene worked as the High School and Elementary Guidance Counselor for nearly 20 years. He finished his professional career in the Stewart & Brownton School District where he retired in 1998. Throughout his career he saw hundreds of children walk through his doors. ‘Mr. Roemhildt’ was well liked by students and staff.
In 1980, he and Bonnie bought their first rental property as a partial summer job and hobby for Gene. Over time, they owned fourteen units throughout Saint Peter. After retirement, Gene pursued his interests, visited with friends at coffee groups, and was active all around town. He and Bonnie also traveled extensively and visited their son’s at their many military duty stations. Their travels included China, Korea, Egypt, Italy, Germany, Russia, Iceland, Hawaii and Alaska. He loved music (especially polka), dancing, and was active in the church. He loved conversations about farming and attending local sporting events. He could always be found engaging students and asking them about school and their favorite subjects. Gene was most proud of seeing his sons marry and be successful in their lives and families.
Gene is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Bonnie. He is survived by his younger brother, Terry (Deb), sons Steve (An) and Mark (Gabriela), grandchildren Raina, Rebekah, and Paul, and his special ‘buddy’ Rosie Volk. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to First Lutheran Church in St. Peter, MN.
The funeral will be at First Lutheran Church on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 11:00am followed by military honors. Visitation will be one hour prior. Burial will be with family at a later date. The family wishes to thank Ecumen Prairie Hill and Ecumen Hospice who took such loving and professional care of dad in his final days.
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