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August 6, 1927 - December 24, 2014

Francis Bernard Bruening, 87, of Freeburg died Wednesday December 24 at Mayo Health, Franciscan Medical Center, LaCrosse.

He was born August 6, 1927, to Bernard and Mary (Lanners) Bruening. He grew up on a farm near Freeburg Minnesota, where he lived and farmed his entire life. He attended and graduated from Loretto High School in Caledonia. He served in the Army, where he was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, from January of 1946 until March of the following year. On October 20th 1955, he married Mary (Sis) Link, the woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life and raise 15 children.

On his farm in Freeburg, he enjoyed raising his Hereford cattle as well as a variety of birds, including geese, guinea hens, and peacocks. He was also a avid gardener, tending a huge garden containing everything from squash to strawberries to watermelons. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and, in his later years, playing cards at Caledonia Care and Rehab Center. But above all, he enjoyed raising and spending time with his family. As he said while leading a Thanksgiving prayer a month before his death: “I have all the riches in the world right here with me today. You come to realize nothing else matters, other than family.”

Francis is survived by his wife Mary (Sis), his children, Jerome (Kari) Neumann, Linda (Forrest) Sauer, Gery (Colette), Henry (Kathy), Anne (Steve) Johnson, Susan (Ralph) Felten, Julie (Bruce) Wieser, Theresa, Grace (John) Sullivan, Rose (Rick) Abbott, Pete, Paul (Lisa), Karen (Stace) Klimesh, Amy (Matt) Hoscheit, Mike; 40 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Cecilia (Joe) Becker, grandchildren Eric Sauer and Maria Bruening.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, December 29 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Brownsville, MN, with burial following at St. Nicholas Cemetery in Freeburg. Father Matt Fasnacht will officiate. Visitation will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 28, as well as on Monday December 29 an hour before the funeral.

McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family with arrangements..

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