Born to Hans and Albina Tronstad on Sept. 2, 1925, Richard was the fifth of seven children who grew up south of Baker, MT on their family homestead. Facing difficult times during the Great Depression, Richard‘s family home was burned to the ground in July of 1930 and his mother died the following September.
Two days after he turned eighteen, Richard enlisted in the army. World War II was in process and he was soon headed overseas. As part of the Third Army, Richard was part of the troops that liberated Paris in August of 1944. Following that, he was wounded in a battle in Metz, France and was sent back to Montana where he was a guard at an army prison in Missoula.
While there, he met a young woman, Fern Norris, at a USO dance. They were married on June 7, 1947 and moved to southern Montana. After a few years, they moved to a one hundred and sixty acre plot of land near Fort Shaw, MT, where Richard and his father-in-law built the Tronstad family home.
Richard farmed for many decades, adding to the initial acreage as he was able. Richard and Fern raised five children during those years and they both served in various roles in the Fort Shaw Bible Church.
Richard leaves behind his beloved wife of 72 years, Fern; two sons, Ralph and Russell (Heidi) Tronstad; two daughters, Janet and Doris Tronstad; one brother, Floyd (Irene) Tronstad; one sister, Gladys Wicker; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by two brothers, Harold and Alvin Tronstad; two sisters, Evelyn Shiskowsky and Beatrice Knutson; and his oldest daughter, Margaret Ann (Duane) Enger.