On February 27, 2003, the Greater Cedarburg Community Foundation presented Merlin G. Rostad with the first annual Cedarburg Civic Award. The award was presented at the Foundations Civic Celebration held at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. The Civic Award recognized Merlin as a leading citizen of the Cedarburg community for more than 50 years. He is an involved and longtime resident of Cedarburg who was also honored as a successful industrialist, artist and former Cedarburg mayor.
Merlin Rostad exemplifies the qualities that have made Cedarburg the special place it is, including public service, leadership and generosity. A man of many talents, he is civic leader, successful industrialist and artist at the same time. He was an early supporter of the Cedarburg Foundation and helped us get off to an impressive start, said Paul Hayes, foundation board member, who introduced Merlin at the civic awards night.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1942, Merlin settled in Cedarburg in 1949, where he became interested in pursuing public affairs. Shortly after, he was appointed to the Planning Commission and started his own precision aluminum mold-making company in 1953. Rostad Aluminum Corp. continues to operate successfully under the management of the Rostad family. Besides proving himself an accomplished artist and businessman, Merlin served two successful terms as mayor of Cedarburg from 1958 to1966. In addition to his involvement in Cedarburg, Merlin has served on the boards of Luther Manor for 10 years, Wisconsin College of Music for18 years, and the Milwaukee Art Museum, also for 10 years.
Merlin is also highly recognized throughout the Cedarburg community for his one true passion, art. He merged his career in precision metal work with his artistic talents to create large aluminum sculptures. His artwork can be seen in collections at the Mayo Clinic and Concordia College in Moorehead, MN, his alma mater.
On August 11, 2003, Merlin and Gladys Rostad celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The Rostads have three children and five grandchildren.