Basil Vernon Bronstad, 78, of Chetek, Wis., passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, at his daughter’s residence on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.
Basil was born on Dec. 21, 1940, to Lillian and Elvin Bronstad. Lillian told Basil that she got his name while looking through the spice rack. Basil graduated from Chetek High School in 1958, and enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he was an airplane mechanic from 1958 to 1963. He loved to talk about how amazing it was to travel to Africa through this experience. Basil was a lifelong over-the-road truck driver, working for E.L. Murphy and USF Holland.
From his first marriage to Donna, Basil was blessed with two sons, Vince and David. In 1974, he met Colleen McLellan, and they married at the Chapel of the Bells in Reno, Nev., in 1983. Through his union, Angela and Amy were blessed to gain this wonderful man as their bonus father for 45 years. Basil was a very good dancer, and when he and Colleen hit the floor, people would stop and watch them cut a rug. He taught Angela and Amy the polka, the Polish hop, the waltz and the Scottish, as well as how to change the oil in their cars. Basil and Colleen were part of the founding group of the Chetek Alano Club and Basil just celebrated 39 years of sobriety. Over the years, he was a mentor, sponsor and inspiration to many, many people suffering from addiction. He gave of his time and wisdom tirelessly, and everyone that knew him could count on him to help with just about anything they asked of him.
Basil loved to go fishing in Canada and took family members on over-the-road trips so they could see the country. He enjoyed kayaking, hunting season with family at the hunting shack, camping at Audi Lake with Colleen and his grandchildren and having impromptu get-togethers at his house with lots of coffee and conversation (and Colleen’s pickles, chicken and dumplings or chili). He loved his two dogs, Cody and Cassie, very much and they gave him much comfort after Colleen died.
Basil is survived by his sons, Vince Bronstad and David (Dawn) Bronstad; two daughters, Angela (Gordy) Hierlmeier and Amy (Chris Mars) Anderson; 11 grandchildren; Jacob, Dillon and Nicholas Hierlmeier, and Dustin, Chris, Tyler, Shania, Jenna, Josh, April and Joe Bronstad; brothers Bryce (Geraldine) Bronstad and Dennis Bronstad; and sister Ideen Parks.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Colleen; brothers Elno, Lyle, Roger, Doug, Herman and Kenny; and sisters Corrine and Sharon.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at Chetek Lutheran Church in Chetek. Basil’s family will greet visitors at the church, beginning at 9 a.m. Interment will take place in the spring. Please view and sign the guestbook online at www.burnhamours.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that you make a donation in Basil’s name to Heartland Hospice (www.heartlandhospice.com) or the Chetek Alano Club (www.chetekalano.org).
The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Chetek has been entrusted with arrangements.