As both Dean and Kim come from very small families, and have no kids of our own, our immediate families are extremely important to us. Like other families, We take family trips, celebrate holidays and birthdays together, and help each other out when we can.
Rosenlofs in Brantwood
Dean is descended from Konsta A. Rosenlof who was born in Finland in 1869 and died in 1940 in Brantwood, Wisconsin. Konsta purchased 80 acres of land in Brantwood, a once-thriving logging and farming community in Northern Wisconsin, from the railroad in 1896. He built a log cabin on it, married, and started a family that included several sons and daughters, some of whom did not live to adulthood. Walter E. Rosenlof was born to Konsta and Hilma Rosenlof in that Brantwood house, which had been enlarged to include multiple rooms, on September 8, 1912. Walter married Dorothy Shilling of nearby Prentice in 1939, and Dorothy came to live with her husband and ailing father-in-law in the Rosenlof farmhouse. Hilma had passed on years before, and Walter’s siblings had all married or otherwise moved on as well.
Walter and Dorothy spent an active life farming, logging, trapping, and hunting, mostly in Brantwood and the surrounding area, although they owned a gas station in Glen Flora, Wisconsin, for a few years as well. They purchased additional land in the Brantwood area and made prize-winning maple syrup for nearly two decades. Dorothy also worked as a teller at the Medford Bank in Ogema for more than 20 years, and would have worked longer if a heart attack had not forced her to retire in 1983.
Walter and Dorothy’s only son, Richard, was born on October 4, 1940, and graduated from high school in nearby Tripoli (Brantwood not having a high school of its own). Richard married Donna May Smukalla of Milwaukee, and the couple had two sons: Damon (born in 1967) and Dean (born in 1973). Damon married Lori Labadie of Mukwanago and the couple had two children: Deidra (1991) and Daltin (1998). Dean married Kim Heidt of Fond du Lac in 1997.
Walter’s wish was to die in the house he was born in, and God granted him that wish on October 9, 2009. Dorothy joined him in the afterlife on July 9, 2017. They had a remarkable life that started with horse-drawn sleighs and ended with computers and “smart” devices. The farmhouse and original 80 acres remains in Rosenlof hands with Brantwood neighbors actively farming the land and helping maintain the house.