SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – You may have seen the old sailboat sitting in a yard near the intersection of Golden and Republic. After all, he’s been around for decades.
The boat was owned by a local war hero, father and beloved neighbor. World War II veteran Robert Rosendahl began building the boat in the late 1980s.
In February, Rosendahl, 94, died. But his boat and his memory still live on.
His son, Erik Rosendahl, plans to finish his father’s project and lead it with some close friends.
On Saturday, several neighbors gathered to witness the towing of the old sailboat, in preparation for the next leg of its voyage.
“It’s just an emotional day for many of us here,” said Erik Rosendahl.
The boat has become somewhat of a landmark and a tribute to Rosendahl over the years.
“These people have been watching him for 40 years, you know,” said Erik Rosendahl. “Some of them grew up with it.”
Now the boat passes to a day of navigation in honor of its builder.
“We’re going to finish it off and then probably take it to Stockton Lake to make sure it doesn’t sink,” Rosendahl’s son said.
This next step is just one of many spanning decades. It all started with an idea that Robert Rosendahl kept during his tenure as a prisoner of war in World War II. Rosendahl experienced Battaan’s death march in the Philippines in 1942 and his liberation from a prison camp in China in 1945.
“That kind of helped him. He always said it had always helped him get away with it. He gave him hope, he said, “said Erik Rosendahl.” And I think he also had fun building it. “
Saturday’s rally paid tribute to Rosendahl as his sailboat, the “Quan II” sets out on her next trip in life.
“We never knew what we were going to do with it,” his son said. “But now we’ve got some closure. And we know something’s going to happen with that.
Something that surely would have made the 94-year-old dad, war hero and neighbor proud.
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