In Memory

Allan Sturnick

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

11/27/10 10:47 PM #1    

Carroll Rasch


Born: November 7, 1943

Died: May 1986 at the age of 42.

01/08/11 01:44 PM #2    

Carroll Rasch

A Summary of Karl Alan Sturnick’s Short Life
Author: His son Jon on behalf of his brothers Jeff and Mike.
January 2011

Alan joined the Army in 1960, completed Basic Training and Airborne (Paratrooper) Training. He soon completed Green Beret Special forces training as a demolitions and communications expert with basic French language training and was shipped to Okinawa, Japan for amphibious and other classified training. I asked him once when I was a kid, "What made you want to become a Green Beret?"
He said, "During Airborne School I saw this really sharp looking unit and said to myself, I want to be part of that." (rough quote). He was married to Betty Lee from Minot and brought her to Okinawa. Dad had a sharp convertible sports car, looked great, was very much in love with our Mother Betty and loved being part of Army Special Forces. Dad completed his mission in Vietnam from October 1963 to April 1964. Special Forces to this day conduct six-month combat assignments due to the harsh nature of their mission rather than twelve months conventional Soldiers complete. Dad once said, "The only President I ever really wanted to vote for was Kennedy." He felt a deep loss for Americans with the assassination of Kennedy. President Kennedy authorized the Green Beret that signifies the Army Special Forces still to this day. Dad felt bonded with Kennedy. Mom did not want Dad to return to Vietnam; Dad wanted to but also deeply loved his wife so the decision was made to leave the Service. This was a decision in life he often pondered...
Within two years Dad and Mom had their first of three sons, Jeffrey Alan. Two and a half years later Jon was born - the same year the American people completed Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon. In 1970 Mike was born in Santa Barbara California where Dad's work and school had taken his family. Mom had completed nursing training and worked as a nurse for 40 years. Dad completed six years of college according to Mom but did not achieve a BA/BS. Grandpa said Dad was tested with an IQ of the high 140's but according to Mom he never really knew exactly what he wanted to choose for a long term career. Dad completed Diving School in Santa Barbara during the early seventies and worked off shore for a short time in Louisiana. I remember picking Dad up on the dock off of a tug boat returning from an oil rig early one morning with my brother Mike and I wearing full length PJs - probably holding a stuffed animal or two. Mom and Dad really loved each other as remembered in their smiles when their eyes met on that dock... I always thought my Dad was so rough and manly: I was proud to say to kids, "That's my Dad."
Dad and Mom bought a house in Goleta, California in 1973. It was their first home purchased through a VA Loan. Dad and Mom were so proud and excited. Soon our new neighbors brought us a small, mixed Australian shepherd which we called Muffin. We love that dog and she was the family pet until she died circa 1990. She will always be our family dog growing up.
Dad bought a 23 foot (roughly) fishing boat, found a partner and became a sea urchin/abalone diver & fisherman for about two years. I was lucky enough get to go on the boat one day and still remember the early morning rise, the loading of the boat, & the beautiful sun glimmering off the water. I also remember the distinct blue of the seven foot blue shark that Dad fed over the side of the boat. I remember Dad and his partner laughing as they tossed my potty emergency into a bag and over the side. Dad was happy being on the ocean. He loved it but it did not prove profitable.
As kids we fought hard like boys do - really hard - but we were taught by Dad that no-matter what, we three boys must stick together, support one another and remain friends. We still do to this day and this will never change. Dad said to us boys several times growing up that "The things that matter in a person are honor, loyalty, character and integrity - which most people don't have anymore. Always remember that boys." He used to say, "Don't cheat!" We listened to him because when he was mad, sad, or had something to say we listened. He was large and in charge. He was our Dad and we loved him.
Dad and Mom were big brother Jeff's Cub Scout Den Leaders one year when Jeff was in 3rd grade. I remember them both wearing the Den Father and Mother Scout Shirts entertaining a group of kids around the dining room table and thinking this was a cool family thing. Jeff was the big kid that got to all the new, exploratory things. I was jealous and yearned to do all new things too.
Within a year from that moment Dad and Mom were divorced. We were deeply shaken, angry and confused boys. We missed our Dad but had to cling to Mom. Dad worked the remainder of his life as an under-water-welder in multiple capacities for small and large international companies. Dad was cool.
As we grew we saw Dad on the weekends sporadically due to work and him finding his path. We missed him and always looked up to him. As we grew we played sports to occupy our time and slowly grew away from needing Dad as divorced kids tend to do. We always loved him deeply but the connection faded as we grew. However, when we saw Dad, we always hugged and said we loved each other.
Dad died when Jon was a Junior and Mike was a Sophomore in high school.
Jeff was finishing his first year in the Army as a Paratrooper - I was very proud of Jeff as was Dad. His loss was a tragedy that still brings pain when his boys think of him.
Mom rose to the occasion and handled the funeral with real class. I will always remember how strong Mom had to be and how she made things so smooth for her boys and family. Mom raised three boys, held a career and kept a roof over our heads in a house she still lives in today that remains our holiday gathering place.
Mom re-married a man named Paul a year or so later and is still married to him today. Jon Joined the Army that same year, 1987; Jeff left the Army in 1988 after three years as a Paratrooper and returned to Santa Barbara and has worked in the construction field his entire adult life. Mike graduated high school, went on to complete his BA degree in Criminal Justice and worked as a Background Investigator for several years. Today, Mike works for the Research Department for a Biotechnical/Pharmaceutical Company. Jon retired from the Army as a Helicopter Instructor Pilot and Safety Professional in 2008 after 21 years of service. Each year I served in the Army and worked with Special Forces troops I thought of Dad... Jon currently works as a Safety Professional and holds two Masters Degrees.
Dad will always hold a special place for Mom and his three boys. We hope that updating Minot High School Alumni with Dad's story will provide closure for his friends that knew him.
Dad's father, Karl Sturnick, died 9 August 2010 at age 90 (Mike’s Birthday). At his funeral we discussed that our Dad is finally back with his Dad in heaven. We imagine them probably playing each other competitively in a few games of cribbage or pool. They loved both games.
We all miss Dad and Grandpa and we will see them when we leave this life.

01/08/11 01:45 PM #3    

Carroll Rasch

Sunnyside Elementary: We were school patrol boys in 5th and 6th grade with Paul Pederson and Bill Caine.  We wore the white belts and badges and proudly marched with the red "stop" flags on bamboo poles to protect the crossings at 4th Avenue (US Hwy 2) at 9th and 11th street SE where it crossed to Roosevelt Park and the bridge into Eastwood Park. The locations rotated each week and the groupings often caused Allan and me to be paired.  To break up the partnerings, Paul, Bill, Alan and I would run to Mr. Broder's (the custodian) corner at 11th Street. The first one to name five Chrysler or Ford cars got to choose the partner.  Paul and Bill Caine were dedicated Chrysler Corporation fans.  I belonged to Ford.  Alan and I were often paired and, all of us having recently seen "Robin Hood" at the State Theater, we used the bamboo poles as fighting staffs in the style of Robin and Friar Tuck at the log bridge.  Knocking each other off the curb or the sidewalk was the goal.  It was impossible to put Alan off.  He had a jolly, aggressive style that was relentless.  I was always on the watch for Officer Long, our Police Department supervisor who held court each Monday and reviewed "citations" we had written up on friends who had jay walked or cut across the Soo Line RR tracks at Oppen's Grocery store over the center field fence of the Mallard Ball park. We were chastized a couple of times by Officer Long and Officer Carroll Larson for being distracted from our duty.  I tried to be good but Alan loved to tussel.  I always gave in to the need to defend myself against his jolly attacks.  If we were on the corner of 9th Street and Eastern Avenue,  I craved decorum because that corner was on the route that Carolyn Feldner (the heart throb of my Elementary Years) walked home to Arbor Avenue.  I wanted to impress her with a calm and take charge demeanor... She would be coming down the block... my chance to show kindness in a Knightly way and do my best at being a somber 6th grade flirt.  But, here came Allen. His shoulder into me and taking me down to roll in the dust... our white Belts and Badges of Authority becoming dusty and dirty and Carolyn, to my mortification witnessing it all.  Allen was filled with laughter and energy.  i would look down the block, sometimes, to where Paul Pederson was controling the traffic with aplomb and would look to the future when I would spot five Fords quickly and choose my new team mate.  Chuckle.

I also remember our last day at Sunnyside.  I wanted to make sure I would get that special block and corner because Carolyn was moving to Bismarck and, I would not see her often again.  The special corner was 60 feet from the other school patrol post.  I remember that Allen understood that it was Carolyn's last day in the Minot Schools and made sure I got the corner so we could say one last 'good bye.'  Under all of that combative energy was the heart of a Romantic and one of the reasons we played out Sir Walter Scott combat scenarios on duty.  (Our world was filled with "Robin Hood," "Ivanhoe" and "Rob Roy" the way kids were swept away by "Star Wars" in the time.)

go to top 
  Post Comment