where his father taught school for a year. Roger came to Decorah in Jun 1957 when his parents moved to the farm which had been the home of the Johnson family near Siewers Spring south of Decorah. The family lived there almost a year until they purchased the “Glise" or “Nefstad” farm in Decorah Twp. in 1958, a place that became home for Roger.
Roger attended the Decorah Public schools and graduated from high school in 1974. Roger became a very tall young man at 67" and was continually asked if he played on the basketball team. However his interests were always farm-related. He convinced his parents to start buying dairy cattle for him his senior year of high school so that he would be ready with a small milking operation upon graduation.
Roger had an interest in antiques and would go to farm sales as a young boy with his father to buy "old” things he was interested in. He liked to play in an old log cabin on the farm and used some of the treasures he purchased from farm sales for that purpose. When he became older he helped with refugee resettlement through Decorah Lutheran and became a close friend to many of the people who resettled in Decorah. He also became a Sunday School teacher at Decorah Lutheran. It was at this time that he met Joyce Lauffer, a Luther College student who was also a Sunday School teacher.
Roger and Joyce were married 5 Jun 1982. They continued to farm with Roger’s father on the home place until 1987 when they moved to a farm near Preston, MN. They purchased that farm a few years later and continue to live there. Roger and Joyce have 5 children: Joylin Roseanne (b. in Decorah), Rachelle Ranee (b. in Decorah), Shamiah Daniel (b. in Decorah), Jedidiah Daniel and Shoshana Lyn.
Womeldorf, Roger and Roberta (Johnson)
Roger James Womeldorf was born 9 Oct 1919 in Decorah Twp, the second son of Albert and Johanna Womeldorf. He was educated in the Decorah Public Schools, graduating from high school in 1937. Roger enlisted in the Navy in the fall of 1937. He was later accepted for officer training at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD. He graduated with honors in three years (usually a four-year course), one of 29 high, out of a class of 615 on 19 Jun 1942. Albert, Johanna, and sister-in-law Eleanor attended the graduation ceremonies. Lucille Winger went along to be Roger's partner for the ball, and Florence Nelson went to be with Thomas Lynch, also a graduate from Decorah. The presentation of awards, dress parade, presentation of colors, and the farewell ball were so impressive. Family and guests were later treated to a sailboat ride on Chesapeake Bay and a ferry ride across the bay for a picnic on the beach. It was a wonderful time together.
After graduation, Roger was sworn in as an officer in the Marines. He went from Annapolis to Quentico, VA. Brothers Erlin and Walter spent some time with Roger when he offered Erlin his 1930 Chevy if he would come to get it in New River, NC. Roger was sent to Samoa in the Pacific for further training before taking part in the invasion of Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay, where he was under four kinds of fire at once. He saw action in many of the islands of the South Pacific during World War II.
Roger James Womeldorf June 19, 1942
After his discharge in 1945, reaching the rank of captain, he married Roberta Johnson on 25 Aug 1945, who had three sons by a former marriage. Roger and Roberta lived in Plainview, TX, where they wheat-farmed 640 acres. Albert and Jo visited them in the summer of 1946, and plans were made for Walter and Eleanor to visit the following summer. That was not to be, as Roger died suddenly 7 Nov 1946. Erlin was in the Marines stationed at El Toro Air Base near Santa Ana, CA when he received news of brother Roger’s death. When Erlin was recalled to active duty in Dec 1950, he met a member of Roger’s former outfit who had been with him during the Pacific island fighting in World War II, and learned something of the respect Roger’s men had for him.
Womeldorf, Walter and Eleanor (Vick)
Walter David Womeldorf was born 16 Apr 1916 in Decorah Twp, the first son of Albert and Johanna Womeldorf. He attended the Hjelle School and graduated from Decorah High School in 1933, after which he began farming with his dad on the home place. He married Eleanor Josephine Vick (b. 24 Nov 1918) on 25 Mar
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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021