Phillip A. Torgerson, age 74, passed away Sunday, November 1, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.
A Family Memorial Service is by invitation only on November 11th, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Forest City, Iowa. The service will be livestreamed and the link can be found on the Schott Funeral Home Facebook page.
Burial will take place at Oakland Cemetery in Forest City, Iowa immediately following the service.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at the Schott Funeral Chapel, 505 North Clark St. Forest City, Iowa. Masks will be required and social distancing will be enforced.
A Memorial Reception will be held at the Super Bowl from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 11th that is open for all to attend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to be designated to one of the following three organizations:
The COVID-19 Research Fund at Mayo Clinic. Memorials can be made online at www.mayoclinic.org/development or mailed to Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester MN 55905.
The Bowling to Veterans Link (BVL): https://www.networkforgood.org
Special Olympics – Bowling: https://give.specialolympics.org
Phillip Anthony Torgerson was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa on October 4th, 1946 to parents Price and Charlotte (Torkleson) Torgerson. He was the forth of five children.
Throughout his childhood years, Phil lived in several communities in Central Iowa, with a brief stop in Carson City, California, eventually graduating from Le Center High School, Le Center, Minnesota in 1964.
Phil had a love for life and a love for people. He would talk with anyone and give just about anything a try; from joining a high dive team in high school to body surfing in California, setting pins in a bowling center in Renwick, IA, deep sea fishing, traveling to Europe, attending several NASCAR races, and delivering Winnebago motorhomes across the US and taking his family to see the country.
Growing up, Phil also had a love of music, forming several different bands with his brothers and various friends, to play in ballrooms and event centers throughout high school, his college years and beyond. His love of music carried on as he DJ’d countless wedding receptions and even putting in a DJ booth at the Super Bowl where he continued to play music through the remainder of his lifetime. Reluctantly, he added Karaoke, but did grow to love his Karaoke crews that came in to sing over the years.
Phil’s love of music led him to meet the love of his life, Ruth Ann (Proehl) Torgerson, in 1966 when she saw him play at the Mankato Armory in Mankato, Minnesota. Phil was smitten and worked up the courage to finally ask her out after staring at her from across the Student Union at their college. He finally chased her down the street to ask her on a date. Once she agreed, he took her on their first date to a movie. They were engaged on Ruth Ann’s birthday and married in Minnesota Lake, Minnesota on October 21st, 1967, celebrating 53 years of marriage just a few short weeks ago.
Phil attended Mankato State as well as Mankato Commercial College in Mankato, Minnesota and welcomed their first daughter, Cherie, in February 1968 just a month before taking a job at Kayot in Forest City, Iowa, the community that would become Phil and Ruth Ann’s forever home in March of 1968. Here they welcomed son, Shawn and two daughters, Shannon and Holly.
Phil’s early time spent setting pins in a bowling center drew him to take a part-time job at the Winnebago Recreation Center in Forest City, which would become the Super Bowl. Here his longtime passion for bowling would continue for the next 50 years. Phil and Ruth Ann eventually became owners and proprietors, spending countless hours both in their own bowling center as well as joining the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), where Phil would serve as BPAA’s Iowa Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President. One of his proudest moments was receiving a recognition for being the West Central Regional Director in July 2020.
Phil was an avid reader, he would go to movies with anyone who would go with him and then rewatch the movies again from his living room. He learned to love fishing from his father and took many trips with family and friends to German Lake, MN, Devil’s Lake, ND and Canada. He traveled a lot outside of his fishing trips too. He attended annual BPAA conventions and National Bowling Tournaments where he enjoyed bringing his family along for family vacations. There are so many fond memories from places like Nashville, New Orleans, Disney World and Las Vegas from these trips. He also did several trips with his in-laws to Alaska and the upper Midwest. A family favorite since 2007 was Wisconsin Dells with all of the kids and grandkids. In the early trips to the Dells he would even go on the big water slides with them, but mostly he liked to sit and watch while his grandchildren had the time of their life at the water parks. You could find him behind the wheel of a go-kart or two on these trips.
Phil was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City, Iowa since moving to Forest City in 1968. His DJing career carried over to the church where he ran the sound board for many years and helped broadcast church services onto the radio. Here is where all four of his children were baptized and confirmed and where he walked all three of his daughters down the aisle.
Phil’s children and grandchildren brought him so much joy and each of them have special memories of dad/grandpa. Traveling, giving out quarters at the Super Bowl for games, eating Ding-Dongs, playing Nintendo, driving go-karts, playing cards, talking in silly voices to make them laugh, attending sporting events and recitals, drinking coffee at the kitchen table, celebrating birthdays, quoting moving lines and so many more memories.
Phil was never ready to retire and worked at the Super Bowl right up until the end. He spent his mornings with Ruth Ann, drinking coffee and watching the birds before heading into work almost every single day. There you could find him behind the front counter or in the office or behind the DJ booth or drilling bowling balls, with Ruth Ann or Shawn by his side. His daughters and oldest granddaughter, Paige could even be found working there over the years. His employees became like family to him and so many of them continued to call him ‘dad’, long after they left.
Phil passed away on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at Mayo-St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.
Phil is preceded in death by his parents, Price and Charlotte (Torkleson) Torgerson; Price’s second wife, Julia (Braun) Torgerson and two brothers, Price Michael Torgerson and Tommy Torgerson (infant). He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ruth Ann; children, Cherie (Matthew) Ewald of Lakeville, MN, Shawn Torgerson of Forest City, IA, Shannon (Troy) Swearingen of Forest City, IA and Holly (Andrew) Smith of Farmington, MN; grandchildren, Paige, Braden, Jessa, Kolton, Ella, Mara and Carter; sister, Joan (John) Pfeffer of Ames IA; brother, Rodney (Bonnie) Torgerson of Mankato, MN; also by other loving family and many friends.