|Pictured are Officer Orville Rosenstengel's three children (L-R): Neal Rosenstengel, Dolores (Rosenstengel) Hogue and Warren Rosenstengel.
On Saturday, Oct. 4, a memorial highway dedication ceremony was held at the VFW in Vandalia, Mo, to honor the late Officer Orville Rosenstengel. Officer Rosenstengel was killed on Nov. 19, 1960, while protecting the citizens of his community.
On that evening, Officer Rosenstengel was having dinner with his family when he received a call about a disturbance. He grabbed his police cap and badge, but left his gun, and headed to the scene. He later arrested the man causing the disturbance and drove him to Vandalia City Hall in the suspect’s car. When he ordered the man out of the car, the suspect reached for a hidden gun and shot Officer Rosenstengel in the chest, killing him instantly. Officer Rosenstengel had served with the police department for five years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, two grandchildren, his mother and five siblings.
State Representative Jay Houghton sponsored the bill that named a portion of U.S. Highway 54 near Vandalia in Audrain County “Officer Orville Rosenstengel Memorial Highway.”
The VFW was packed with family, friends and law enforcement officers to honor Officer Rosenstengel. Speakers included Representative Jay Houghton, Captain Gregory Kindle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Captain Larry Brothers of the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office, Vandalia Police Chief Tony Laird, Ralph Kuda, the mayor of Vandalia and Brian Haeffner, MoDOT Northeast area engineer. Matt Williams from Senator McCaskill’s office was also in attendance. Special readings were done by grandchildren and close friends of the family. The ceremony concluded with a family friend singing a song written about Officer Rosenstengel.
Some tears were shed and some laughter shared to honor the man they knew as “Rosie”.