MILLER — Gene Brueggeman, 82, of Miller, passed away in his sleep on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Good Samaritan Society in Miller.
Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Miller with Father Paul Josten, celebrant. Burial with military honors will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Polo. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, followed by a 7 p.m. wake service, all at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Miller.
Gene Brueggeman was born on Aug. 19, 1941, in Pierre to Leonard and Lyda Brueggeman, who resided in southern Hyde County. The family moved to the farm near Polo in 1942, where he attended St. Liborius Catholic School.
Gene joined the United States Navy after graduating high school. He spent the next four years in training and on the USS Intrepid for more than three years. Gene was an EM3 Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class in the US Navy during his term of duty and was released from active duty entering the reserves on March 8, 1966. He was then honorably discharged on November 13, 1967.
Gene married Marlene Schaefers from Polo on June 5, 1967. To this union were born their five children: Marjean, Damon, JoAnn, Jared, and Adam. The family was kept busy raising cattle, sheep, hogs, and random other critters as well as dad’s favorite pets, horses. Gene loved to farm. He had a knack for raising hogs, which also not only helped to provide a living, but taught the kids what hard work was, even though they didn’t like it! They still did it because he said so. He was a good provider for his family, teaching them the value and pride in hard work. As time passed, Gene slowly got out of raising livestock and farming, but always kept the farm a place so children and grandchildren could enjoy hunting and have a place to call home.
In addition to Gene’s life on the farm, he was an active member of the Polo Legion and participated in almost all the Memorial Day services and honor guard. He traveled around to the surrounding cemeteries honoring the military. Gene was also an active member of the St. Liborius Catholic Church during their time on the farm.
Gene and Marlene built a new house and moved to Miller in 2008. Gene started to take up some hobbies including woodworking and sharpening his skills at playing pool in his later years at the Friendship Center. Throughout all his years, he also enjoyed taking the kids hunting and fishing and looked forward to every fall pheasant hunting season visiting with friends and relatives who traveled from far away to not just hunt but to enjoy some good times.
Gene is survived by his wife, Marlene, of 56 years; daughter, Marjean (Tim) Venjohn of Carthage, N.C. and children: Victor, John, and Lauren; son, Damon (Jamie) Brueggeman of Polo on the family farm and their children: Braxton and Tayler; daughter, JoAnn (Jim) Linn of Brandon and their children: Shelby and her fiancé, Drew Sivertsen, Ashley, and Sawyer; son, Jared (Toinette) Brueggeman of Highmore and their children: Jaxson and his fiancé, Jillian Bosma, Trevor (Kendra) and their daughter, Collins, Hunter, and Gunner; and son, Adam (Andrea) Brueggeman of Huron and their children: Wesyn, Kymber, and Gatlun; brother, Vince (Maxine) Brueggeman of Watertown; and brothers-in-law: Joe Aesoph, Seneca, and Derry Hochhalter of Sioux City, Iowa.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents: Leonard and Lyda Brueggeman; stepmother, Hattie Brueggeman; sisters: Audrey Hochhalter and Dianne Aesoph; brother, Dale Brueggeman; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The family of Gene Brueggeman would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers throughout this difficult time.
Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Gene’s arrangements.