Granton’s Honored Citizens

September 6, 2006

Ernie and Rhoda Sternitzky


Ernie and Rhoda Sternitzky, longtime residents of the Granton area, have been named “Honored Citizens” of the Granton community for the year 2006.

As recipients of the award, which includes a plaque and a gift certificate, the Sternitzkys will lead the Granton Fall Festival Parade on Sunday, September 10th.  They were chosen for this honor by the Granton Rotary Club.

The Granton FFA members submitted the Sternitzkys’ name to the Granton Rotary Club.  Chelsea Coyle, FFA president had this to say in her letter: “It is with pride that we are nominating Ernie and Rhoda Sternitzky for the 2006 Honored Citizens recognition.  They have been a great asset to the Granton community and Granton schools for many years.  They have been especially supportive and helpful to the youth of Granton.

Through their personal ownership of Arby’s of Marshfield, the Sternitzkys have been great supporters of many community events.  Each year, they contribute numerous prizes for events such as Granton Fall Festival, the FFA Alumni Dairy Break-fast, the FFA annual Lock-in, and the Music Boosters Raffle.  The value of these coupons and prizes is immeasurable in our terms, but well over thousands of dollars.

This year has been another particularly giving year as Ernie and Rhoda sponsored all of the roast beef for the Athletic Boosters basketball tournaments, the Brennen Olson Carnival fundraiser and the Granton Community Park benefit picnic.  If you look at the value of what all that food would have cost the groups hosting the events, their success would not have been nearly as great. That sincere generosity is repeated many times.

In addition, there have been many times over the years where they have donated helium for prom and homecoming balloons for decorating and they purchased animals at the Clark County Fair and Northwest Junior Livestock show.  They have also sponsored a $500 annual scholarship at Granton High School’s graduation ceremony each year since opening their business.

Ernie and Rhoda are known for their kindness and giving spirit.  Many local youth have been given ‘their first job’ at Arby’s, helping them to gain money for college and experience for further advancement down the road.  They have taught these youth responsibility and have given them a great start.  Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant has become a special stop for Granton School athletic busses, due to their encouragement and positive attitudes.

Ernie and Rhoda Sternitzky exemplify the high morals and values that are sought by so many today.  They are excellent role models for youth and adults throughout the area.  They are active in their church and can be seen lending a helping hand whenever possible.  Anytime that we ask, they are there for us, with more than we ever expected.  We can not only count on them for their generous donations and financial support, but they are also there with a supportive smile, hand shake or boost of morale, when we need it most.”

Ernie grew up in the Town of Lynn and graduated from Granton High School in 1958.  He attended college in Stevens Point and then spent four years in the United States Air Force.

Rhoda grew up in Gering, Nebraska, furthered her education in Minneapolis and was employed by Northwest Airlines.  Her roommate was Ernie’s sister and the rest is history.

They were married November 14, 1970 and since then have raised four children.  They are Tim (Tanya), of Chili; Kari (Jon Canfield), of Minocqua; Nick, of St. Paul; and Chad, of Stevens Point.  There is one granddaughter, Haley.  After Ernie and Rhoda were married they returned to Ernie’s home farm.  In 1985, they became Arby’s franchisees, opening in Marsh-field.  In 2000, they retired from dairy farming.  Since then, they have opened and Arby’s in Plover which is managed by their son, Chad.  Rhoda also served as the Town of Lynn treasurer from 1970 to 2005.

The Sternitzkys are modest people and when informed of the honor they were surprised and pleased.  They like country living and appreciate the faculty and education their children received in Granton.  They stated, “Granton is a fine little community,” they said.

From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 6, 2006, Front page

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, October 30, 2006

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, October 31, 2006

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