LA CROSSE/ONALASKA -- John W. Bruemmer, 87, died Saturday, July 6, 2019.
He was born in La Crosse, June 16, 1932, to John W. and Edna (Olson) Bruemmer. He married M. Jean Wartinbee Sept. 22, 1951, at Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse. John attended Roosevelt Elementary, Logan Junior and High Schools. He was a center for the all-city football team, played center for the 1949 state runner up basketball team, and played center field for the Logan Ranger baseball team. He continued his football career at Luther College and was described as "the best center I ever coached," by Luther coach Edsel Schweizer.
John graduated from Luther College in 1953, with a major in business administration. After three years of teaching and coaching football at Bricelyn, Minn., John returned to the Luther campus in the fall of 1956, where in addition to coaching football, he became the assistant business manager, then assistant treasurer in 1963, and from 1967-1979, was the college treasurer. In 1983, he was inducted into Luther College's Athletic Hall of Fame.
In the fall of 1979, John became vice president of finance at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., then moved on to comptroller at Augsburg College. He continued his love of football coaching at Mounds View High School in Arden Hills, Minn. John was asked to be the executive director of the Minneapolis branch of Virchow Krause, CPA's. Adrian Helgeson, a senior partner, had befriended John during university audits and was so impressed with John's books, that he offered John a job when he retired from the university. John's second retirement was a part time job as business manager for the Laborers Training Center for over five years.
John was a charter member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah and then became a member of Nativity Lutheran Church in St. Anthony, Minn. When he and Jean moved back to the La Crosse area, he returned to Trinity Lutheran, where he had been baptized and confirmed.
John and Jean moved to Onalaska in 2003, to be closer to family and most recently had resided at Eagle Crest North, where John enjoyed several of the planned outings as well as family gatherings and events, playing cards and making many new friends. John was an avid sports fan and followed the Cubs, the Twins, the Vikings, the Brewers, the Packers and any team his children or grandchildren were playing for or coaching. In his younger years, John hunted pheasants and deer and was still going on fishing outings.
John is survived his six children, Russell (Nathalie) of Washington, D.C., Ruth Ann (Ken) Procter of Decorah, Iowa, Paul (Kim) of Orleans, Mass., Barbara (David) Saiz of Onalaska, David of Onalaska and Andrew (Emily) of Aplington, Iowa. John was proud of the successes of all his children and loved the visits from his grandchildren, Alexandra, Caroline, Carlyle and John Bruemmer, Tatiana and Aragon von Taaffe, Elizabeth (Eric) Reisinger, Jennifer Kephart, Erick (Chelsey) Kephart, Teresa (Nico Roussel) Procter, Emily and Thomas Bruemmer, Joey and Drew Saiz, MacKinley and Julianna Bruemmer and Rebecca Jean Bruemmer. John was so proud to have five great-grandchildren, William and Annie Reisinger and Adilynn, Fitzgerald and Truman Kephart. John is also survived by his brother, Thomas (Judy Cobb) of La Crosse. John was very fond of his in-laws, Jack Wartinbee of Elmhurst, Ill., Ann (James) Reeve of Muskego, Wis., and Lois (Gary) Stuhr of Onalaska; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. John was preceded in death by his loving wife of 64 years, M. Jean Bruemmer; and his parents.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 15, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1010 Sill St., in La Crosse. A visitation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. at the church. Pastor Roger Grow will officiate. Burial will be held in Oak Grove Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church, Causeway Caregivers of La Crosse, or Luther College. The Schumacher-Kish Funeral & Cremation Services of La Crosse are in charge of arrangements.
The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to the entire Eagle Crest North staff, for the love, care, and devotion shown to both John and Jean during their residency. Thank you also to the staff on the Medical Specialty Unit of Gundersen Health System for their wonderful care. If you are unable to join us for John's service, please take a moment to sign the online guestbook which is available at www.schumacher-kish.com.