Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services Offering dignified services since 1919

Back to Obituaries

Alvin J. Baldus

Alvin J. Baldus

Alvin “Al” James Baldus, a distinguished veteran and public servant for the State of Wisconsin, passed away in Menomonie surrounded by his family on Thursday, 02 February 2017, at the age of 90. Born April 27th, 1926 in Garner, Iowa, and graduating from Elkton High School in Minnesota, Al served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during WWII from 1944-1946. He also earned an A.A. from Austin Junior College in Austin, Minnesota, in 1946. Al continued to serve our nation in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951-1953. For his distinguished service with the famed 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, which included action in the Battle of Old Baldy, Al received the Bronze Service Star medal. In 1959, Alvin married Anna Lorayne “Lolly” Reiten at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Menomonie.  After marriage they made their home in Menomonie where they raised their family.

Al began his career in public service in 1966, when he was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly representing Dunn County. In 1975, Wisconsin's Third Congressional District sent Al to the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC. A three-term Congressman, Al served the people of Wisconsin in the 94th, 95th, and 96th Congresses. During this time he cosponsored 22 bills that were signed into law. A champion of safety and community, Al worked to pass legislation that designated areas of Wisconsin to be wilderness, enabled farmer’s markets and direct sale of farm goods to consumers, established milk price supports, and regulated matters of agricultural safety. Upon returning to Wisconsin, Al served as Director of Governmental Affairs for Cenex and then resumed his service in politics as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989 to 1997.

Al spent his retirement in Menomonie, enjoying time with his family, planting hostas and tending the family log cabins overlooking Lake Tainter.

He is survived by his wife, Anna Lorayne “Lolly”,  their children Deborah (Kevin) McGrath, Bruce (Polly), Rebecca Baldus, John (Amy), and Daniel, seven grandchildren; KP, Daniel (Caroline), Jackie, Holly, Erik, Aidan and Chloe, his brothers Roy (Theresa) and LaVerne (Jo), and the family dog, Kipper.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his son Erik in 1972, two sisters and three brothers.

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Menomonie with Rev. James Kurzynski officiating, and with Military Honors provided by the Menomonie Veterans Honor Guard.  Burial will be held in the spring in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Tuesday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie and one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday.

Memorials may be given to, Stepping Stones of Dunn County or to the donors choice.


  1. Liv S. Violette

    My thoughts and prayers are with this wonderful and loving family. I know that they will find great solace in each other as they mourn and celebrate the exemplary life of Mr. Baldus who dedicated himself to public service. They all should be very proud of the man they call father, husband, brother and friend.

  2. Kevin Fober

    I am privileged and honored to have known such a kind and thoughtful public servant. I still remember going door to door for Al in his first campaign for Congress in 1974 and again in 1976. Thank you Lolly for opening your door to our family on our visit to DC in 1975. The trip fueled my interest in history and politics and inspired me to pursue my career as a high school teacher of US history and government.

  3. Joan E Collins

    Al was one of the best, most sincere Congressmen we have ever known. He was a great friend to my late husband (gone 15 years now) and they became good friends during the 1974 election. May fond memories of Al and his wonderful family. My sincere condolences to all of them.

  4. Eric Englund

    A statesman, gentleman and plain old good guy.

  5. Helen Quinn

    Al and Lolly have always been there for us. Thank you, really thank you.

  6. Patrick and Jan Pesek-Herriges

    We fondly remember Al as a model of public service, one who honored his electoral offices by truly representing his constituents. He and Lolly worked together as partners in service to the entire state of Wisconsin, and to the nation. Al was a good man in every way.

  7. Alan Zepp

    It was my great fortune to work with Al when he was in Congress and to have maintained a friendship with him and Lolly all of these years past. He was the epitome of all the positive elements we hope to see in our leaders.

  8. Alan Baldus

    Uncle Al was truly a great Uncle and Person - he will be missed. I wish every person would have had the opportunity to discuss the world with Al... no matter which way you lean, a discussion with Al would leave one with a new and healthy perspective. Rest in Peace Uncle Al.

  9. Pastor don wisner

    lollie, i have held al in high esteem all these many years. You both have been tireless warriors for peace and justice. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. james sperstad

    2/6/2017 11:55:29 AM

    Al Baldus integrated good nature, practical politics & humanitarianism In daily life.

    identification: aureliu@wwt.net
    715 235 5939
    James R Sperstad
    P O BOX 41
    Menomonie, Wi

  11. Terri Maiola

    Lolly, Becky and family,
    I was so sorry to hear of Al's passing and I regret that I am out of town and unable to express my condolences to you in person at the services. I am honored to have known and worked with Al both when he was in Congress and when he was in the Assembly. Again, my condolences.

  12. Sharon Olson Seefeldt

    Sorry for your loss. Al was a good friend of my parents Joel and Carol Olson. Have lots of memories of them. God bless your family.

  13. Marcia Turnacliff Ginny Browne's cousin

    My sympathies go to you and all the family, I did spend a few times at your wonderful home in Menomonie when Ginny was helping you, I know Al will be greatly missed , Your family are in my prayers. Know that others do care about your loss at this time. Stay strong.

  14. Diane Chilinski (caturia)

    So sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and father. I have such fond memories of our times together when you lived in Menomonie (on Broadway). My thoughts and prayers to you. Diane

  15. Clara LaMarr / Kelly Holzer's mom

    Clara Buzzy LaMarr I only met him and his wife on one occasion and I instantly knew and could see what wonderful compassionate people they were. Sending prayers of comfort to the many friends and family of this beloved man. Know that he will continue to watch over you and have that same smile. RIP Congressman.

  16. Jim Gellerman

    It was a treasured privilegeTo have had conversations with a true hero. Most people don't realize Merchant seamen did not receive the GI Bill inspite of being in Harm's way,

  17. Jody Ballard / Roy Panzarella /Allison /Ryan / Brennan

    Al Baldus left this world a much better place through his steadfast dedication to family, friends and country. His acts of inspired leadership, kindness and understanding guide those feeling his loss as a example of how to lead a life filled with service and love. We thank him for his devotion to humanitarian ideals and his service for the greater good. He will be missed. A big huge to my dearest friend Debbie and her family

  18. Julie Brett

    Al...a man of integrity, a really wonderful human being...and then there was that smile.

    Great family memories...some of the best times of my life. Enjoy heaven....we will see you again.

    Love and prayers to Lolly,Debbie,Bruce,Becky,John,Dan and families. Remembering Eric...your sweet little guy.

    Hugs to you all,
    Julie Gilyard Brett

  19. Joselle Albracht

    My thoughts, love and prayers are with all of Al's beloved family and his many dear friends. He was a fine, fine man. He leaves a proud legacy and an indelible mark.

  20. Chris Danou

    My condolences to the family of Al Baldus. A great man thank you for your service.

  21. Gene Henke

    Our Deepest Sympathies, Love all the Henke's

  22. Patti Blount

    Sympathy to the family during this time. He was a good man and served our district well.

View More Posts ( # )