Conrath couple killed by gunfire in their home
Slain husband, wife were wellknown, active in their community
Law enforcement officials are investigating two gunshot fatalities discovered last Sunday at a home near Conrath. Three suspects have been arrested.
Numerous law enforcement officers responded at about 4:30 p.m., June 7, to the home, N2208 Market Rd., in the town of Marshall.
The victims have been identified as Robert D. Rosolowski, 73, and Bonnie Mae Rosolowski, 70.
Investigators have ruled the shooting a double homicide, and law enforcement has arrested and booked three suspects into the Rusk County Jail.
Arrested were Adam R. Rosolowski, 21, of Phillips, Joseph W. Falk, 17, and a juvenile male.
Investigators were at the home Monday, also interviewing those close to the couple. Crime scene tape was around the property, N2208 Market Rd. County land records show the property lists to the victims.
“We have two gunshot fatalities,” Rusk County medical examiner Jim Rassbach said.
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the home after family visited and discovered the two residents deceased. Dispatch records for this incident have not been provided by the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators have ruled this case a double homicide.
At this time, law enforcement officials believe the incident was targeted and not a random act. The public is not at risk, they said in a press release to media.
Marshall town board Chairman Scott Jones called it a very big loss, noting the couple were very involved in the community. Robert Rosolowski was currently serving his second term as a town board supervisor.
“This is a very big loss. This is a very, very big loss. Bob was a well-known person. His footsteps are going to be very hard to fill. This a great loss to the community,” Jones said. “He was always someone to see the good in something.”
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is leading this investigation with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). They are also assisted by the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory and Wisconsin State Patrol.
Robert and Bonnie Rosolowski were deeply involved in their community from participating in their local American Legion post to serving at their nearby church.
Bob and Bonnie Rosolowski lived in the town of Marshall southeast of Conrath. They were reliable members of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Conrath and dependable participants in American Legion York-Kolar Post 316 in Sheldon. Few details of the incident have been made public so far as the investigation continues.
Recently, Bob led his legion post through Memorial Day ceremonies as the post’s commander while other area military groups were scaling back events because of possible health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a newspaper interview ahead of the observances, Bob was quoted with fighting spirit.
“The veterans were here before this virus was,” Bob said to the paper. “If we have [these services] we should be able to stand apart from each other.”
Among Bob’s favorite past times were climbing on board his familiar orange Allis Chalmers antique tractor, riding in area parades and other celebratory gatherings.
Bob joined the Sheldon Fire Department in February 2011. He was a town supervisor in Marshall. He served as a church deacon, presiding at Sunday masses, funeral services and other faith-based functions. He was taking classes to become a Rusk County emergency first responder to help fill a shortage of EMTs.
“He was getting into that to be able to help people,” Sheldon Fire Department historian Marty Huhn said.
“He was very community active,” Huhn said. “On the fire department he was always there. I don’t think he hardly every missed a fire call, a meeting or a training session. He was very dedicated to the fire service.”
Huhn called the shooting a tremendous loss for the community.
“Natural causes are bad enough, but when something unexpected and unnecessary happens in my opinion it is very tragic to lose someone that way,” Huhn said.
Jones praised the Rosolowskis for their community involvement. He was shocked to hear the couple had been the victims of an apparent double homicide.
“I couldn’t believe it. I have known the family forever,” Jones said. “When I heard it come over my [fire department] pager, I couldn’t believe it.”
Jones, who attended Lake Holcombe School with the Rosolowski’s children, called Bob “very dedicated” to the area.
Bob was currently serving his second term on the town board, and local government leaders are slated to begin a discussion on the process of how to fill a board vacancy after the shooting deaths of their close friends in the tight-knit community.
Jones believes it takes a certain type of dedication to be involved in the fire department and emergency services, and Bob was that person.
“Bob has never really missed a call on the fire department. He was always very dedicated to the fire department and the legions. He was gung-ho for the fish fries. He touched a lot of people’s lives. He is going to be a hard person to replace. We just aren’t going to be able to replace a person like him,” Jones said. “He was a very great asset for our township and our fire department. If the call went out you could always count on Bob being there. He was there. There was no doubt.”
Betty Stone, district president of the American Legion Auxiliary, noted the Rosolowskis had a passion for tending to the Conrath Cemetery. The couple regularly maintained flags at the cemetery.
“When there was a funeral he made sure the honor guard was there. He was on the ball. He was a good worker,” Stone said. “He and Bonnie, one of their passions was the Conrath Cemetery.”
The Rosolowskis also loved horses. Bonnie’s passion was horses, according to Stone.
Another love for Bonnie was participating in the local legion post auxiliary.
“She was for the community and honoring veterans,” Stone said. “Bonnie was looking forward to retiring so she could be more involved in the auxiliary. It is just sad how everything came about. She will be missed.”
Bob presided last month at the funeral service for the mother of Ladysmith native Rebecca Plantz, who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bonnie spent many hours with Plantz’s older siblings and would stop by when she could to see them.
“The two of them held together the Conrath church,” Plantz said. “These were two really wonderful and kind people. I can’t understand this being done to them. My prayers are with the family and friends who will feel this loss deeply.”
Bob loved to ride his tractor in the annual Sheldon Community Festival Parade and brought his farm equipment to Golat Implement Days and other tractor shows.
“He definitely enjoyed his Allis-Chalmers tractors,” Jones said.
Jones credited Bob for taking pride in every task he took on in the community.
“It is a great loss for the fire department and our town. How do you explain it? He has been very dedicated,” Jones said.
Bonnie also was involved in the legion and was still employed as a postal worker at the U.S. Post Office in Eau Claire.
Jones praised the Rosolowskis for their strong community spirit.
“I think that was just the way their hearts were. I think they loved serving their community,” Jones said. “They were always active.”
Words can’t explain what the Rosolowskis meant to the area or how their lives were taken, according to Jones.
“There’s really not,” Jones said.