Obit: Lunda, Milton A. (1920 – 2008)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Lunda, Luraas, Keilhofer, Slifka, Jury, Rykken

----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) December 17, 2008

Lunda, Milton A. (30 August 1920 – 11 December 2008) With Flag

Milt Lunda, 88, of Black River Falls died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, in Black River Memorial Hospital under the care of Black River Hospice.

Milton A. Lunda was born Aug. 30, 1920, to Melvin and Alma (Luraas) Lunda on a farm near Mt. Horeb. After the death of his father, when Milt was eight years old, he and his mother, Alma, moved to Milwaukee where he attended grade and high school and graduated from Marquette University with a civil engineering degree.

He served in the Navy during World War II, where he was a liaison officer between the Navy and the Sea-Bees building a supply depot in the Philippines in preparation for the landing of U.S. planes on Japanese soil.

After the war, he was employed as an appraiser for the American Appraisal Company in Milwaukee and then for three years for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit.

Milt married Lidy Keilhofer Sept. 11, 1948. For two years, the couple traveled in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa to job assignments.

In 1953, Milt and Lidy moved from Detroit back to Wisconsin and settled in Black River Falls, where he eventually became the owner and president of Lunda Construction Company. Lunda Construction Company built bridges notably on I-94 from Milwaukee to Minneapolis, I-43 from Green Bay to Milwaukee and throughout the Midwest and also Atlanta, GA. Lunda Construction also has an industrial and railroad division. Over the years, the company has received approximately 75 awards on its bridge structures for Safety and Best in Class. In 1977 Lunda construction purchased Phoenix Steel of Eau Claire and later purchased the rebar division of Bethlehem Steel of Minneapolis and the Pipkorn Rebar Company located in Milwaukee.

In 1988, the Lunda family established the Lunda Charitable Trust, which has supported numerous state and local causes. Milt and Lidy’s personal philanthropies are in the arts, health and education fields to which they donate over 40 scholarships annually. The Lundas are well-known for their numerous financial donations to the community of Black River Falls, including the Lunda Center and the Lunda Community Park.

Milt was a director of the Jackson County Bank for 20 years and a director of the national Exchange Bank of Fond du Lac for 25 years.

Some of his personal awards are: 1988 – Marquette Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, 1995 – Rotary Civic Award, 1997 – the CRUE Merit Award for Public Relations and the Marquette Alumni Community Service Merit Award; 1999 – WASDA Award for Special Recognition for Service to Wisconsin; 2002 – the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Engineering Construction; and 2008 – the Western Wisconsin College Legacy Award.

He was a member of the Black River Falls United Methodist Church and the Turtles Club.

Milt loved to travel with family and friends, watch spots, and read. In the past, he also enjoyed piloting his airplane. In the late ‘60’s, he was a Winston Cup NASCAR team owner with Dave Marcus as the driver.

Survivors include his wife, Lidy, his son, Larry (Anne) Lunda, and his daughter, Marlee (Richard) Slifka, all of Black River Falls.

Private family funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, and burial with Military honors was in Riverside Cemetery, both in Black River Falls. Rev. Kathleen Jury and Rev. Thor Rykken officiated.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be given either to the Lunda Community Park Maintenance Fund or Black River Hospice. All memorials may be sent to the Lunda Family, c/o Carl Holmquist, P.O. Box 669, Black River Falls WI 54615.

The Buswell Funeral Home, Black River Falls, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences are available at



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