Jerome Francis Brickner, age 86 of Ellsworth, passed away Friday, July 15, 2022 following a brief hospitalization. Jerome was bound and determined not to spend his 61st anniversary without the love of his life, Loretta, who died in May. Jerome was born on December 19, 1935 in Ellsworth, Wisconsin; the son of John and Marie (Johnson) Brickner. He was raised in Ellsworth where he would graduate from high school in the class of 1953. He would set his eyes on a young woman named Loretta Mae Armbruster. After getting the nerve to ask her out and time of courtship, the two walked down the aisle on July 18, 1961 at Saint Mary’s Big River Catholic Church of River Falls.
Mr. Brickner, as he was affectionately known, drove bus for the Ellsworth School District for 55 years. It’s even rumored he may have given Jesus a ride to school. His service to the community didn’t end there. He was a volunteer firefighter for 33 plus years with the Ellsworth Fire Dept. If you had a chance to meet him, you came to appreciate his gentle, kind, and patient demeanor. He was content with sitting quietly in a room and taking it all In. He never wanted to be a burden or to have people dote over him.
Quite possibly his favorite passion was getting to the campground with the family fifth wheel. They frequented O’Neil Creek Campground and it wouldn’t take long before he was wetting a line staring at his bobber. If he was lucky, he got to fry up some sunny’s for dinner. He also looked forward to the yearly hunting trips with the guys. Time spent at the rabbit shack was more about the camaraderie than it was filling out their tags. As the kids were older, they went from camping to their cabin on Staples Lake in Burnett County. His catholic faith remained strong and guided him throughout life. He loved to put a smile on your face, with a comical one-liner or joke. He kept that humor and the wittiness up until the day he died. Whoever said, “save your fork, the best is yet to come” was not talking about Jerome. Loretta would be shaking her head, as Jerome would be polishing off dessert before he even started his dinner.
Jerome will forever live on in the hearts of children: Valerie (Alan) Przybylski Chippewa Falls, Randy (Julie) Brickner of Ellsworth, Theresa (Dan) Thom of Ellsworth, Joanie (Robert) Heacox of Eau Claire, John Brickner of Ellsworth. Eight grandchildren: Josh (Darla) Przybylski, Tracy Crosby, Brianne (Ben) Gaard, Jake Brickner (Shannon), Brandon (Jenna) Thom, Travis (Sarah) Thom, Emmarie (Carlton) Lokken, Alec Heacox; Great grandchildren: Max, Ellie, Sophie, Camille, Mykenna, Landyn, Matthew, Graciella, Clint, Clare, Lacy Mae, and Mabel; in-laws: David Armbruster, Mary (Dennis) Kees, and Patsy (Steve) Linehan.
He is preceded in death by his wife Loretta; parents, John and Marie Brickner, in-laws, Bernard and Marie (Wirth) Armbruster, his sister and brother-in-law: Dianne and LeRoy Brenner.
A Mass of Christian burial for Jerome Brickner will be at 1:00pm, Thursday, July 21 at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Ellsworth. A visitation will be from 10:00am to the start of mass at church on Thursday. Military honors recognizing his service to our country will be provided by the Ellsworth American Legion Post. Interment will be in the parish cemetery at a later date with Loretta.
Memorials are preferred to the discretion of the family.
Thanks to Ellsworth Area Ambulance and Ellsworth Care Center for bringing out the sparkle in his eyes every time they cared for him.
Funeral services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services of Ellsworth, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com, 715-273-4421