Dennis Arnold Ulstad
Dennis Arnold Ulstad
passed away April 10, 2019 at home surrounded by loving family. He was born in Red Wing, MN on March 14, 1938, the son of Arnold and Agnes Ulstad. He was baptized at Minneola Lutheran Church in rural Zumbrota and was confirmed at Welch Lutheran Church in Welch.
Dennis attended a one room school house in Hay Creek Township outside of Red Wing until 8th grade. He graduated from Red Wing Central High School in 1956. In 1959 he married Mary Ann Graves at Welch Lutheran Church. They later divorced.
He took on his life's work as an iron worker at age 20 and eventually became a subcontractor. He was a proud union member (Dennis Arnold Ulstad Iron Workers Union Local 512). In his long iron working career, he and his crew worked to build hundreds of bridges across Minnesota and Wisconsin, carrying tons of iron and rebar on his shoulders, while walking high up on the bridge trusses. Among the numerous bridges he built were the Eisenhower Bridge over the Mississippi River in Red Wing, as well as those on Wabasha and Kellogg, the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul, and numerous others including Stewartville, Wayzata, Monticello, Cannon Falls, International Falls, Jackson, Rochester, St, Cloud, Coon Rapids, Warroad, and near Fort Snelling. As he said, "I worked on so many bridges, there are too many to remember." He and his son Rocky worked together in construction on portions of the Ford Lock & Dam, Ashland Refinery and Riverplace (Mpls). Dennis worked on construction of the Mayo Clinic and St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, St. Olaf College, Carlton College, Anderson Windows, Northern States Power (now Excel Energy), St. James Hotel in Red Wing, schools in Appleton, WI and Lindstrom, MN. & Minnesota History Center. He also worked on building numerous power plants including those in Becker, at Treasure Island, and in Alma, WI.
After 44 strenuous years in iron work construction, he retired in 1992 and enjoyed many years living on the point in Forest Lake in a small cabin which he added onto himself to make into a year-round home. He is very proud of his three children, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He enjoyed his dogs, pontoon rides, fishing, snow plowing, cutting weeds on Forest Lake, riding around on his golf cart, playing Santa Claus for family in Rochester on Christmas Eve, and hosting 46 Fourth of July celebrations on Forest Lake for family and friends, always making everyone feel at home. He loved to read and watch endless shows about the military. He was also very proud of his Norwegian heritage.
His parents, one sister (Bonnie Frisk), and one infant grandson (Ryan Rocky Ulstad) preceded him in death.
He is survived by his three children whom he was so proud of...Lynn Sheree' (David) Lesmeister of Anoka, Rocky (Julie) of Stacy, and Luke (Renee Cortez) of Forest Lake, five grandchildren (Aaron, Christina, Jeffrey, Michael, and Megan), and two great grandchildren (Taylor and Kaylee), two sisters- Sandy (Bruce) Lisko of Rochester and Cheryl ( Jerry) Burke of Woodbury, three nieces and three nephews. His love, warmth and lively conversations will be missed by family and friends. He'll always be remembered as a hard working, loving, caring, and generous soul.
A Celebration of Dennis' life 5:30 PM Wednesday April 17th with visitation beginning at 4 PM at Roberts Family Life Celebration Home, 555 SW Centennial Dr., Forest Lake. Memorials preferred to Minneola Lutheran Church.