Richard Donald Drong, 60, Austin

Published 12:22 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

Richard Donald Drong, 60, of Austin, Minn., died Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Rochester, Minn.

Richard Drong

He was born on Oct. 7, 1951, in Long Prairie, Minn., to August and Sally (Stepaniak) Drong. After graduating from Browerville High School in 1969, Richard went on to receive a degree in social work from Bemidji State in 1973. He lived and worked in Canby, Minn. On Oct. 9, 1976, he married Rebecca ‘Becky’ Ensberg in Clear Lake, S.D. The couple moved to Austin, where Richard worked at Woodvale Group, Austin Public Schools, and Gerard Schools as a mental health practitioner. He went on to work as a school social worker in the Kingsland School District.

Richard enjoyed nature walks, bike rides, gardening, being outdoors and doing crossword puzzles. He enjoyed watching and participating in sports of all kinds. He was a former member of the Elks Club, where he served on various committees and served as Exalted Ruler. He was a member of Education Minnesota and served as a local president.

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Survivors include his wife Becky Drong of Austin; his son Samuel Drong (Becky Franklin) of Minneapolis; brothers, Dennis (Marilyn) Drong of Coon Rapids, Minn., and Joseph (Debbie) Drong of Bemidji, Minn.; sister, Jan (Walt) Berinni of Champlin, Minn.; mother-in-law Shirley Ensberg of Hendricks, Minn. He was preceded in death by his parents, August and Sally (Stepaniak) Drong; a nephew, Jozef Drong; twin sisters in infancy; and his father-in-law, Sidney Ensberg.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, at the Worlein Funeral Home Chapel in Austin, with the Rev. Kristi Koppel of St. Olaf Lutheran Church officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at