Leonard Brehmer, Sr.
Leonard Brehmer, Sr. (94) died January 27, 2021 in Wabasha. Born in Potsdam, MN on August 26, 1926 to Emil and Myrtle (Kinsley) Brehmer, he grew up during the great depression (loved and content, but hungry and poor) near Theilman, MN. Their isolated rural home, on the banks of the Zumbro River, allowed Leonard to fish and hunt squirrels, rabbits and snapping turtles- which he sold in town or supplemented family meals.
He quit school a year after country-school and went to work to complement the family income. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving during WWII in the South Pacific, participating in the Battle of Okinawa and the evacuation of Allied POWs from The Philippines. Leonard was a lifelong, proud member of the Carpenters Union.
In 1951, he married his adored wife of almost 70 years, Pat Cox of Rockford, IL. They were close partners in raising four children and establishing two successful businesses. They retired to Wabasha and he dedicated his later years to gardening, morel collecting, grandchildren, bargain hunting and the family farm. Engineering projects were frequent and ingenious. He dredged the farm’s ponds using tractor, log chain and newly felled trees; re-roofed the old barn (“I don’t need any help.”) at 80 years old, with a 40 foot rope around his waist “for safety”; moved a “free” garage 20 miles on a hay rack with newly cut trees as counterbalance.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings: Arlin (Viola) Brehmer; Marge (Lloyd) Schultz; Dorothy (Stanley) Wilson ; Florabelle (Ervin) Carsten; Eleanora Glomski; Micki Hubbard; Rodney Brehmer; Joyce Wiebusch.
He is survived by: his wife Pat; sons Lenny (Kathy) Brehmer and Randy (Betsy) Brehmer; daughters Kathy (Roger) Henderson and Brenda (Tim) Shea; grandchildren Joe (Christina) Brehmer, Jessica (Luke) Munroe, Anna (Ryan) Brehmer; Randall (Anne) Brehmer, Brent Brehmer, Bridget (Michael) Haley; Drew Henderson, Ross (Bre) Henderson; Johnny Shea, Thomas Shea; seven great grandchildren; and brothers-in-law John Glomski and Dean Wiebusch.
A lifelong aversion to formal occasions led Leonard to request no services. He donated his remains to Mayo Medical School.