Don Brue, age 79, of Baldwin died peacefully Wednesday, October 1, 2014, at his home with his wife and best friend at his side. Don was born August 9, 1935 in Mason City, Iowa.
Don attended elementary and junior high school in Iowa. Then the family moved to central Wisconsin and Don graduated from Loyal High School. He earned a B.S. degree in agriculture education at Wisconsin State College River Falls. Don was a fieldman for Production Credit Association of River Falls and became the branch manager for PCA in Mondovi.
In 1966, he started working for USDA Farmer’s Home Administration in Wisconsin Rapids. He was promoted to FmHA Supervisor in Dodge County. In 1972, Don was transferred to St. Croix County as the Supervisor for FmHA in. Later Pierce County was added to his assignment. He retired from FmHA in the fall of 1994. After retirement, Don worked for Farm Credit Services in River Falls. Don was an agricultural credit specialist for over 42 years. He enjoyed working with farm and rural people and was proud of helping them to be successful. His goal was to help rural America.
Don became an active member of each community that they lived in. He sang in the church choir, taught Sunday School, was a youth leader, held various offices in the church, sang in the Dutch Masters Choir and volunteered in numerous capacities in the community. His favorite role was being Santa Claus.
As a senior, he met Mary Ellen Walters and they were married in June of 1959. Then Don helped Mary Ellen complete her college education. Don and Mary Ellen enjoyed traveling and he liked planning trips.
His hobbies included fishing, boating, cross country skiing, hunting, and riding bike and his mopeds. He even restored an old 1979 Motron moped. He had a talent for working with wood. He designed and made numerous small wooden toys, without patterns. He also liked to make signs, free hand, to give to people. His specialty was making “diamond willow” canes and walking sticks that he also gave to special people in his life. Don was always a faithful Green Bay Packer fan whether they were winning or losing.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Engvold and Olga Brue, sister, Carol Kauth Potter, brothers-in-law, Richard Kauth, Marsh Potter, Allen Rasmussen, nephews, Greg and Trent Rasmussen.
Don is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ellen, son Mark of River Falls, Cheryl (Mark) Klanderman of Hudson, grandchildren, Emily, Andrew and Bethany Klanderman and Hope Brue. His sister, Donna Rasmussen, of Nekoosa, brother, Dexter (Laura) of Spencer, brother-in-law, Dan (Mary Walters) of Eau Claire, sister-in-law, Donna (Ken) Nelson of Milaca, Minnesota and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. While attending college, Don enjoyed working for and living with Darold and Doris Pechacek. Don always felt that Darold was like a special brother and they were life-long friends. Also survived by other special friends/sons: Scott (Jan) Donkersgoed, and Mark Kongshaug, friend/grandson, Brandon (Natalie) Donkersgoed and sons, and many other friends.
As per Don’s request, his body was donated to the University of Minnesota for research.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UW River Falls Foundation, or to donor’s choice. His motto was: I tried, I helped, I loved, I prayed. Special thoughts that Don wanted to share: Count your blessings one by one EVERY DAY. Most of all he wanted to share that He believed in Jesus Christ and his prayers were that you might also share in those beliefs.
A Celebration of Life service for Donald Brue will be 3PM Saturday October 4, 2014 at the First United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin. A time for friends and family to gather to reflect on Don’s life will be from 1PM to 3PM, prior to the service at church. Funeral services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin.