C.R. Onsrud USA founder has died from knee surgery complications
November 24, 2021 | 10:10 am CST
Charles Onsrud has passed away.

Charles Onsrud founder of CR Onsud USA, died Nov. 21, 2021, from complications that stemmed from knee replacement surgery.

Troutman N,C. -- Charles Rudolph Onsrud, the founder and former CEO of C.R. Onsrud USA, manufacturers of CNC machinery, died Nov. 21, 2021, from complications related to knee replacement surgery.

Onsrud was born on Aug. 26, 1931, in Chicago, and was the grandson of Oscar Onsrud, founder of Onsrud Machine Works. He worked for his father Rudy Onsrud at Onsrud Machine Works until he moved his family to Statesville, N.C., to be close to the furniture manufacturing industry and to work for Garrison Machinery, selling the Onsrud machines. In 1976, he launched C.R. Onsrud in Troutman, N.C. 

Onsrud designed and patented the inverted router, which the company says improved functionality and overcame the inherent safety issues associated with a traditional overarm router and is still in production today.

He was the recipient of many prestigious awards, including:

  • A Challengers Award for distinguished achievement in the advancement of the furniture and woodworking industry at the International Woodworking Machinery Furniture Supply Fair. Onsrud was the recipient at two consecutive trade shows for his innovations. 
  • The Baldwin Award from Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers of America for most exemplified leadership and outstanding contributions to the millwork industry.
  • Partner of the Year Award from the Woodworking Machinery Distributors Association. The distributors association decided they wanted to honor a manufacturer who exemplifies the spirit of true partnership, C. R. Onsrud was its first recipient.
  • President's "E" Award for excellence in expansion of US exports.

Onsrud, who formally retired from the company in 1996, was an Army veteran, and a proponent of American-made products.

 To celebrate Onsrud's life, services will be held:

Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 2:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church      
125 N. Meeting Street
Statesville, NC 28677

The family will visit with friends following the service at the church. A private family burial will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospital.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).