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Rowland Retrum

Rowland Retrum, a 29 year resident of Estes Park, died July 24, 2010 at Prospect Park Living Center at the age of 98. He was the son of Obert and Flora Thompson Retrum. He was born February 13, 1912 in Peterson, Minnesota. He attended St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota graduating in 1939 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration.

He worked for the Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Company in Chicago and ended his career with the Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis. During his retirement years he was granted a number of domestic and foreign patents on a process for continuous conversion of feathers into edible feed ingredients. Necessary machinery was manufactured in Norway and installations were made in many countries. He was engaged in research on processing of feathers at Ohio University and in 1991 spent three months in Kenya assisting in the development of a plant for converting fish and animal by-product into feed ingredients.

During World II, he served with the US Navy, for a time in the North Atlantic, then more extensively in the Pacific as an engineering officer on the Cruiser Wilkes-Barre. He participated in most of the major naval battles in the advance on Japan, and left the service in late 1945.

He met his wife, Dorothy Louise Menke, at Purdue University where he had been sent by the Navy to study diesel engineering. They were married April 3, 1943 in the Salem Evangelical & Reformed church in Huntingburg, Indiana.

Rowland was an Eagle Scout and elected to membership in the Order of the Arrow. During his working career he became a Registered Professional Engineer and a life member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was a life member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers and contributed to its manuals on industrial refrigeration. In Estes, he was a founding member of the Association for Responsible Development and the Estes Valley Land Trust. He was an active member of a committee, organized May 12, 1987, to found an Estes Park Medical Center Foundation. He was a member of the Community Church of the Rockies. He valued deeply the mountain character of the Estes Valley and did what he could to help preserve it. He deeply loved his family and his home.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy of 67 years of marriage, a brother, Carsten Retrum of Fort Wayne, Indiana, two sons, William Stephen Retrum of Estes Park, Colorado and John Sigurd Retrum and his wife, Brenda, of Golden, Colorado, three grandsons Iver, Jack and Brian Retrum, and many nieces and nephews. Rowland’s parents, one brother, Fergus Retrum of Minneapolis and an infant daughter, Ann Katherine, preceded him in death.

Interment will be at the Columbarium of the Community Church of the Rockies in Estes Park. Those who wish to make a memorial contribution may do so to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Denver, Colorado or the Estes Park Medical Center Foundation in care of Allnutt Funeral Services,1302 Graves Ave, Estes Park, 80517.

A private memorial service for the immediate family will be held in Estes Park.

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