Raymond “Ray” Brueske, 89, of Plainview, passed away on Friday, Dec. 21, at Seasons Hospice in Rochester.
Raymond was born Feb. 27, 1929, to Ray and Mary (Yarolimek) Brueske in a farmhouse northeast of Plainview.
He attended grade school in rural Plainview through 8th grade and graduated from Plainview High School in 1947. After graduation, he helped his parents on their small farm during the day. In the evenings, he worked with his uncle selling Triumph hybrid seed corn. A few years later, he became a District Supervisor for Triumph, responsible for counties in the Southeast and Southwest corners of Minnesota.
Raymond eventually started his own business, Mallard Seed Company (named for his passion of duck hunting). The Mallard family business had sales in six states and operated for 50-plus years. At one point, Mallard was one of the Top 10 seed companies in the Midwest, a milestone which Raymond and his employees reached together.
Raymond married Iva Mae “Mazie” Johnson in 1950. Their lives together were cut short when Mazie passed away from Lupus in 1955. They had one daughter, Susie. Raymond later met Evelyn “Evie” Specht and they were married for 49 years until her passing in 2012. They had two sons, Mark and Joe.
Raymond loved football. As a freshman, he was a starter in the first football game he ever saw. He was named to the All-Conference Football Team his sophomore through senior years. He also participated in other varsity sports. Raymond was an avid outdoorsman. His favorite outdoor activities were duck and goose hunting, but he also enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, and trapping. Raymond was well-known for his garden produce and appreciation of food. He especially enjoyed sharing his sweet corn with everyone. He took pride in raising cantaloupe and watermelon on his Sand Prairie farm, something he’d done for more than 40 years. He loved a good t-bone and knew how to smoke a turkey and pork loin to perfection. Not to be forgotten was his ability as a storyteller and conversationalist...truly one-of-a-kind.
Raymond is survived by one daughter, Susie (Steve) Gessner, and two sons, Mark (Lisa) Brueske and Joseph (Maren) Brueske, all living in Plainview; six grandchildren, Benjamin Gessner, Neil Gessner, Matthew (Claire) Brueske, Amanda Brueske, Margaret Brueske, and Jacob Brueske; and two great-grandchildren, Juniper and Iris Gessner; two brothers, Franklin (Rose) Brueske, Pace, Fla., and Kenneth (Rae Beth) Brueske, Gulf Breeze, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and spouses.
The family is grateful for and would like to extend a special thank you to Sharon Heaser, Brian Heaser, Stan Tesch, and Heather Gander for their kindness, caring, and commitment to Raymond.
Friends and family may visit from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, and one hour prior to the funeral Mass at St. Joachim Catholic Church, Plainview, where Raymond was a member.
The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, with Fr. William Becker presiding and burial to follow at St. Joachim Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to Schleicher Funeral Homes, Plainview Chapel. The guest register may be signed at www.schleicherfuneralhomes.com.